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Life History and Disturbance Response of Taxodium distichum var. nutans (pond cypress)
Family: Taxodiaceae
Guild: opportunistic, long-lived intermediate
Functional Lifeform: large deciduous conifer
Ecological Role: grows in shallow ponds and poorly-drained flats
Lifespan, yrs (typical/max): 250/Information Not Found
Shade Tolerance: intermediate
Height, m: 20-40
Canopy Tree: yes
Pollination Agent: wind
Seeding, yrs (begins/optimal/declines): 20/Information Not Found
Mast Frequency, yrs: 3-5
New Cohorts Source: seeds or sprouts
Flowering Dates: early spring
Flowers/Cones Damaged by Frost: no
Seedfall Begins: late fall -- winter
Seed Banking: 1 yr +
Cold Stratification Required: yes
Seed Type/Dispersal Distance/Agent: small, non-winged/ to 100 m/ gravity, water
Season of Germination: spring
Seedling Rooting System: taproot
Sprouting: common
Establishment Seedbed Preferences:
Substrate: wet muck
Light: overstory shade
Moisture: wet
Temperature: neutral
Disturbance response:
Fire: Although fires are rare in the swampy areas where baldcypress typically occurs, it is an important element in maintaining baldcypress dominance by reducing the number of species and relative importance of broadleaf species. Pondcypress trees have thicker bark than Taxodium distichum var. distichum and are somewhat resistant to low-intensity fire. Other aspects of the response of pondcypress to fires are probably similar to Taxodium distichum var. distichum.
Weather: Pondcypress is adapted to saturated and flooded soils and is extremely windfirm.