Prescribed Fire by Chris Tucker
Chris Tucker
Photo of Prescribed Fire

Planted slash and sand pine occupied over 90% of the area when FWC assumed management. Historically, these lands were in various stages of upland pine forest, sandhill, and upland mixed forest. Sand pine areas have since been cleared and replanted with longleaf pine and slash pine stands have been thinned to create a more open understory. Prescribed fire will help prevent invasion by hardwoods and will encourage the natural reseeding of wiregrass. Hardwood hammock, dominated by live oak, with water oak, wild cherry, sweetgum, and pignut hickory, is interspersed throughout the area, occupying low-lying basins and areas of poor drainage.

The hardwood swamps are regularly inundated wetlands generally consisting of sinkhole depressions or basin swamps that are tied to water level stages in the Suwannee and Alapaha rivers. Moist conditions associated with the river floodplain have contributed to the expansion of this plant community which is strongly dominated by pond cypress, with scattered black gum, red maple, and sweetbay. Understory and ground cover are usually sparse due to frequent flooding but sometimes include such species as buttonbush, lizard's-tail, and various ferns.

See management information.



FWC Facts:
The Wall Street Journal has ranked the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival of Brevard County as the third-best birding festival in the United States.

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