Other Ecological Communities
In addition to the pitch pine-scrub oak communities of the inland pine barrens, you will find other natural communities within the Albany Pine Bush Preserve including successional hardwood forests and Appalachian oak-pine forest. Many of these communities are noticeably more shaded than the open canopy of the barrens and grasslands communities. Shaded forest communities provide habitat for many species yet they do not support the rare plants and animals that set the inland pine barrens apart as a unique area.
Wetlands are significant communities within the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. While the majority of wetlands found in the Pine Bush are not unique to the area, they are important components and are essential to supporting the diversity of plant and animal life found in the preserve.
Over time, groundwater-fed streams have worn their way down through the Pine Bush sand. The Hunger Kill and Kaikout Kill, two streams that flow through the Pine Bush Preserve, have eroded steep-sided ravines as the water makes its way south toward the Normans Kill and on to the Hudson River. These sandy ravines support the Appalachian oak-pine forest community containing oaks, pines, hemlock, and serviceberry.