Flood plains of major rivers, swamps, and creek bottoms interspersed among upland sites produce much of the commercially valuable hardwood timber of the southern United States. Even in these moist sites, fire periodically alters the stands of broadleaf trees: setting them back in ecological succession, changing species composition, or simply causing the replacement of an old stand to a young one of the same species through coppice regeneration. Severe fire often prevents restocking of commercially valuable stems by destroying the humus layer: soils become puddled and then dry to rock-like hardness.
New forests may not readily appear following fire where coarse, loose, sandy soils deposited by recent overflows are at the surface or just below a thin veneer of fine silty material. Frequently
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