J.W. Corbett - Natural Communities

Leather Fern
Betsy Purdun
Giant leather fern along Hungryland Boardwalk

Corbett is in the transitional zone between the uplands of central Florida and the nearly level Everglades. The most extensive natural communities on Corbett are pine flatwoods, marshes and wet prairies, and cypress sloughs and domes. Hammocks are found in isolated locations throughout Corbett.

The Hungryland trail and boardwalk passes through one of these hammocks. Within Corbett are a number of disturbed areas including 700 acres of old tomato fields, which are being converted into food plots for wildlife.


See  Major Natural Communities.



Invasive non-native plants are a serious problem on Corbett as they are on many public lands throughout the state. The number one enemy on Corbett isLygodium microphyllum-Old World climbing fern, followed byMelaleuca and Brazilian pepper.

Old World Climbing Fern
Betsy Purdum
Treated invasive
Old World climbing fern

Lygodium is a thicket-forming, climbing, and extremely invasive fern found in swamps, along river banks, wet disturbed sites, pinelands, and cabbage palm hammocks in central and south Florida. According to Gil Nelson in The Ferns of Florida, it was rare in Florida just 30 years ago. In 1978 it was found only on a few acres in the eastern third of Martin and Palm Beach counties, but by 1997 had invaded more than 39,000 acres. Biologists and managers on many of south Florida's public lands, including Corbett, spend much of their time and resources attempting to control this noxious weed. Volunteers at Corbett work to attack isolated patches or to do follow ups after commercial contractors.

FWC Facts:
Like all North American terns, the least tern has long, pointed wings and a deeply forked tail. It is the smallest of Florida's terns.

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