low elevation, built by erosion of mountains, and fluctuating sea levels; both depositing sediment; warm, humid climate
carbonate platform formed from ancient warm, shallow ocean depositing shells and forming limestone; Suwannee channel blocked deposits from Appalachian erosion onto platform; Later covered with sandy sediments
water percolates through soil and porous limestone forming aquifer system, clay from ancient river deposits holds water in aquifer
limestone easily dissolves from lightly acidic rainwater forming cavities and karst landscape features: caves, sinkholes, springs
Tertiary Northern Forests
northern continents once connected in Laurasia supercontinent, similar climate throughout once formed contiguous Northern Forest, remnants of this forest exist in FL
moisture and storms from gulf and Atlantic as well as low elevation keeps Florida humid, in summer moist sea breezes encounter sun heated land causing air to rise and form thunderstorms
Climate changes and migration in FL
Migrations from humid Caribbean and central/south America, Migrations from arid west during dry Pliocene, Land expansion/retraction during glacial/interglacial with plant migrations and changes in flora and communities
large climate/sea level changes during Pleistocene (2.5mya
Fire in FL
high lightening flash density in Coastal Plain and FL, Large expanses of open canopy habitats with pines, low shrubs, herbaceous groundcover feedback fire
Risks to FL communities
Agriculture, Urban sprawl, invasive species, climate change: sea level, salt water encroachment, drought, hurricanes, unsuitable habitat
Hardwood Community Characteristics
dense, closed canopy; increased organic matter from leaf litter; cool, humid, low wind, low light on floor and subcanopy; moist soil mix of clay, sand, and silt; near water table; less acidic than pine; rare/absent fire; large hardwood trees and shrubs
Upland Mixed Woodland Characteristics
transition between wet hardwood and dry pine communities; partially closed canopy; dry, loamy soil with less clay and more sand; occasional fire; Common species: Quercus falcata, white hickory
Upland Hardwood Forests Characteristics
Dense, deciduous, and diverse canopy, near limestone bedrock and water table, northern species present, mesic, nutrient rich, sandy, more clay soils, Common species: Magnolia grandiflora, Carya glabra, Acer floridanum
Mesic Hammock Characteristics
dominated by Quercus virginiana and Sabel palmetto, sandy soil, replaces historic pine in absence of fire
dry sandhill, more dry adapted oaks and evergreen hardwoods
Evergreen, closed canopy of oaks and palms, sparse understory of ferns and grasses, low, wet soil close to limestone and water table, occasionally floods, common species: swamp laurel, Quercus virginiana, sabal palmetto, Juniperus virginiana, Acer rubrum
river floodplains and terraces, flooded for portion for growing season, sand and river sediment soil, Common species: water hickory, Betula nigra, Acer rubrum, Carpinus caroliniana
Upland Pine Community Characteristics
above water table; dry, sandier, acidic soil; long leaf pine thrives; fire controlled open habitats; warm and humid
Long leaf pine adaptions
Grass stage that tolerates fire while it establishes root system. Tree quickly shoots up to grow above fire. They then slowly grow
What happened at end of last glacial period?
the climate in the Coastal Plain became warmer and wetter, currents shifted creating an onset of summertime and human populations spread throughout the region. Longleaf pine subsequently spread to its pre
high elevation on ridges or sand dunes; far from water table; well drained sandy, dry, infertile soil; dominated by long leaf pine; frequent mild fires; common species: Pinus palustris, shrub oaks, grasses
high elevation on ridges or sand dunes; far from water table; well drained sandy, dry, infertile soil; infrequent, hot fires; no longleaf pine; reduced shrubby woody vegetation; common species: Pinus clausa, shrub rosemary, shrub oaks
low relief and is sedimentary, slow moving rivers, wide alluvial valleys, high organic matter, varying moisture surplus, similar to northern post
Outer Coastal plain
level or gentle sloping to coast; lowlands, marshes, estuaries, river deltas, and many herbaceous species; marine and alluvial sediment deposits
Inner coastal plain
Hillier, many streams, sediment from ancient erosion of Appalachians
Bogs, prairies, marshes
seepage slopes or flat, low areas surrounded by fire
herbaceous species, carnivorous species, orchids, sedges, and other semi aquatic plants
denser organic matter and less fire; woody shrub plants: swamp titi and sphagnum moss
longer flooding; form in depressions, wider basins, and floodplains of rivers; frequent to occasional fire; herbaceous; high amount of peat in soil; river sediments if within river floodplain; Common species: semi
in sinkholes and seepage slope prairies within pine flatwoods, frequent fire; common species: Pitcher plants, orchids, sundews
low areas atop sediment, collect rain, less fire
hydrophyics trees; wet, silty, organic soils with peat/clay that drain poorly; sinkhole depressions or wider basins close to water table; flooded for portions of the year
Deeper water with longer hydroperiod; Cypress and Tupelo trees dominate; aquatic sedges and grasses; Floodplains where water flows: Bald cypress; Basin and depression with still water: pond cypress
sinkhole depression where tallest trees are in center
base of pine flatwood seepage slopes along river channels; shallow; poor drainage; clsoed canopy; thick, woddy vegetation; common species: sweetbay, loblolly bay, gallberry, magnolia virginiana
Upland Pine Communities
Freshwater Wetland Communities
Upland Hardwood Communities
How has geology shaped FL flora?
The Florida platform’s limestone foundation causes features like sinkholes and depressions, which can form habitats like swamps and marshes. Florida’s platform was covered with sand, silt, and clay. Since the continents were once connected there are remnants of the once contiguous northern forest in Florida.
How has climate shaped FL flora?
moisture and storms from the Gulf and Atlantic with low elevation keep Florida humid. Large climate shifts during the Pleistocene with cycles of global glaciation caused flora migrations in Florida. During the dry Pliocene migration of flora to Florida from the arid west occurred.
How has fire shaped FL flora?
Florida has a high flash density leading to more fires. Large expanses of open habitats with pines and low ground cover causes feedback for fire. This causes flora to have fire adaptions to survive.
How has human disturbance shaped FL flora?
Humans have altered Florida’s flora through agriculture, urban sprawl, bringing invasive species in, and contributing to climate change