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Root River Riverine Forest

Back to Southern Lake Michigan

Counties: Milwaukee


Root River Riverine Forest, 21 Oct. 2000. Southern mesic forest, City of Franklin. Photograph, E.J. Judziewicz.

Site Description

The Root River Riverine Forest is located within the six mile coastal zone in southern Milwaukee County just north of the Racine County border. It includes stands of mesic hardwoods and floodplain forest (composition is largely dependent upon the stand's microtopography) bordering the Root River and a gravel-bottomed tributary. The site was selectively logged in the past, and grazing may have occurred as well. Canopy species in the floodplain forest include silver maple, green ash and American elm; chararcteristic herbs include nettles, clearweed, sedges and waterleaf. The most intact stand of mesic forest has an extremely rich groundlayer and a good diversity of tree species including sugar maple, beech, basswood, red oak and white ash. As one of few remaining forest blocks in this region it provides habitat for many resident plant and animal species, including a number that are rare, and is used as a resting and feeding area by many migratory birds.

Additional Comments

The Root River Riverine Forest contains a diverse flora and fauna that includes several rare species and is a significant portion of the regionally important Root River corridor.

Text describing this site was published previously in a 2002 DNR publication entitled “A Data Compilation and Assessment of Coastal Wetlands of Wisconsin’s Great Lakes” by E.J. Epstein, A. Galvin and W.A. Smith.

NOAA logo Wisconsin Coastal Management Program logo This project was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Last revised: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:21:14 CDT