In North America at least, the largest forest where pines are the dominant tree species may be the Ponderosa Pine forest of the Colorado Plateau. Ponderosa Pines depend on a relatively dry climate, and are adapted to frequent, naturally occurring forest fires; suppression of fires by humans has changed the structure of the Colorado Plateau’s forest, resulting in less open space on the forest floor and more trees growing closer together. The Colorado Plateau pine forest supports a variety of wildlife species, including mule deer, elk, and smaller mammals. The tassel-eared Abert’s squirrel is closely dependent on Ponderosa Pines, and also thrives in this forest.
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