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Baygall - (synonyms: seepage swamp, bayhead, bay swamp).
Baygalls are generally characterized as densely forested, peat-filled seepage depressions often at the base of sandy slopes. The canopy is composed of tall, densely packed, generally straight-boled evergreen hardwoods dominated by sweetbay, swamp red bay, and loblolly bay. A more or less open understory of shrubs and ferns commonly occurs, while sphagnum mats are often interlaced with the convoluted tree roots. Other typical plants include dahoon holly, Atlantic white cedar, fetterbush, male-berry, myrtle-leaved holly, large gallberry, wax myrtle, odorless wax myrtle, hurrah-bush, dog-hobble, white alder, possumhaw, red chokeberry, Virginia willow, laurel greenbrier, poison ivy, cinnamon fern, chain fern, wild grape, netted chain fern, sweetgum, cypress, lizard's tail, and needle palm. Typical animals include mole salamander, southern dusky salamander, southern mud salamander, opossum, southeastern shrew, short-tailed shrew, marsh rabbit, black bear, raccoon, southern mink, and bobcat.
Baygalls typically develop at the base of a slope where seepage usually maintains a saturated peat substrate. They may also be located at the edges of floodplains or in other flat areas where high lowland water tables help maintain soil moisture. Baygall soils are generally composed of peat with an acidic pH (3.5 - 4.5).
Since Baygalls rarely dry out enough to burn, the normal fire interval in these
Baygall is often associated with and may grade into Seepage Slope, Floodplain Forest or Floodplain Swamp. The species composition of Baygalls frequently overlaps with Bog, Dome Swamp, Basin Swamp, Strand Swamp, Bottomland Forest, Wet Flatwoods, and Hydric Hammock.
Baygalls are dependent upon seepage flow and a high water table. Alterations in the