By Jason Ney
From Iowa's Decorah Ice Cave to the Kitty Todd Nature protect in Ohio, this quantity offers a picture of the main impressive and demanding ordinary locations within the Midwestern United States.
• Illustrations depict 50 of the main precious landscapes within the Midwest
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Additional info for America's Natural Places: The Midwest
Having evolved to withstand fires, oak-hickory savannas and forests are also dependent upon it. Without periodic fires, particularly slow-burning low-intensity fires, less fire-resistant and more shade-tolerant species, such as sugar maple, have gradually come to dominate Baber Woods. This is true of other fire-dependent ecosystems throughout the Midwest. Fire suppression allows oak seedlings that are injured or killed by fires to proliferate shading the once-open parklike savanna. As a result, soil moisture is increased, allowing less drought-tolerant but shade-tolerant species, particularly sugar maples, to begin to invade the woods.
Despite such threats, restoration efforts and the comparatively large numbers of protected areas along the lakeshore continue to provide an oasis of intact habitat. State management and conservation has left Illinois Beach Nature Preserve with many acres of largely undisturbed, pristine habitat. The preserve, along with the larger Illinois Beach State Park, is open to the public year-round. Hiking is allowed on trails within the preserve, but cross-country skiing, biking, and fishing are prohibited.
Mosses, liverworts, and other shade-loving vegetation dominate north-facing slopes, and the many rock crevices host such specially adapted species as small alumroot, partridgeberry, and Forbes’ saxifrage. The Fern Rocks Nature Preserve is a major refuge for the park’s ferns as well as an abundance of wildflowers, including Forbes’ saxifrage and French’s shooting star. In all, more than 75 types of trees and hundreds of wildflower species grow within the Giant City ecosystem. Wildlife abounds in the Giant City area, with 48 mammals, 52 reptiles, 57 amphibians, 237 birds, and 109 species of fish living either within the park or in the surrounding national forest.