Big Cypress Swamp

TBig Cypress Swamphe Big Cypress, so named because of its 2,400 square miles of big cypress trees, is what many people envision when they think of the Everglades: dim and shadowy, with pools of algae-laden water surrounding stands of cypress trees hanging heavy with Spanish moss and air plants.

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The Florida Keys

150 Mile Long Chain of IslandsThis 150 mile long chain of islands made of fossilized coral rock has seen the likes of pirates and buded treasure, scavengers of shipwrecks, and fortune hunters.

Smugglers and slave traders in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries found cover in the lush, dark hardwood hammocks of the islands.

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Biscayne Bay

Biscayne Coral ReefsThe skies above Biscayne arch over a green and brown sea. Sunlight polishes the colors to a dazzling intensity.

From the bay, the shoreline of mangrove swamps appears as a dark-green serpentine seam joining sea to sky.

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Florida Bay

florida bayApproximately one-third of Everglades National Park is a very special place called Florida Bay, a marine lagoon that has received international recognition for its superb natural resources. Decades of human intervention have affected the park and Florida Bay, which are dependent upon freshwater flows and a healthy ecosystem to support a diversity of wildlife

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The Everglades

The flora of the Everglades is as unique and diverse as its fauna. More than 2,000 species of plants compete for sunlight and available water in southern Florida.

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Coral Reefs

The Florida reef tract is the most extensive living coral reef system in North American waters and the third largest system in the world. All of these reefs are created by a community of organisms which produce calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

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Freshwater Marshes and Wet Prairies

Freshwater marshes occur in areas where the soil is usually saturated or covered with surface water for two or more months during the year. Wet prairies are characterized by less water and more grasses.

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Salt Marshes

Salt marshes occur on low or no wave shorelines and extend up tidal rivers. Many salt marshes are dominated by one plant, usually cordgrass or black rush and often blend gradually with freshwater marshes, forming a transition zone of saltwater and freshwater plants.

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Sandhill Community

Sandhill communities have harsh conditions and occur on well-drained, deep and relatively sterile sands.They have a low tree diversity and include long leaf pines, turkey oak and southern red oak. and plants such as

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Hammocks

Hammock is a Florida term for a cluster of broad-leaved trees. Trees in hammocks are often evergreen and usually grow in relatively rich soil. The hammock community is similar in many respects to the mixed hardwood and pine of the panhandle.

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Mangroves

Mangrove swamps trace many of the shorelines of South Florida where there are not sandy beaches. They are a breeding and feeding ground, and habitat for many land and marine animals.

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Pine Flatwoods

Pinelands are located on Long Pine Key and in nearby eastern sections of the Everglades. Found at the highest and therefore driest elevations include palmetto, moonvine, the coontie,

The cotton mouse, opossum, raccoon, pine warbler, and reef gecko find food and shelter within the pinelands. Flatwoods are the most abundant community in Florida. Before 1900 they covered half the state. Flatwoods have few tree species. Shrubs and small trees vary among the three major types, but many plants are common to all Flatwoods communities. Common understory plants include wiregrass, saw palmetto, wax-myrtle, gallberry and fetterbush. Flatwoods are usually sprinkled with cypress domes, bayheads or small till swamps.

Dry Prairies

Dry prairies are vast, treeless plains. They are dominated by grasses, saw palmetto. Usually scattered in dry praires are small bayheads, cypress domes and cabbage palm, and live oak hammocks.

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Cypress Swamps

Cypress swamps are usually located along rivers or lakes or scattered through other communities such as flatwoods or dry prairies.

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Swamp Forests

Deciduous hardwood swamps are found along rivers and in basins where the forest floor is saturated or submerged part of the year. Other terms for this community are

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Saw Grass

Saw grass (Cladium jamaicense) covers nearly eight million acres of open, flat praide. This member of the sedge family is the most dominant plant, flowing through the park as a broad, sweeping

 

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Types of Vegatation Areas

The state of Florida is comprised of a minor portion of the Floridian Plateau and the costal lowlands. Much of this landmass has been submerged by ancient seas.

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Plants and Vegetation

Lying on the edge of the tropic latitudes, Florida boasts a “best of both worlds” plant life. At least 344 species of trees, about 80 percent of those native to the United States, grow here.

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The Land

The Florida peninsula has been inundated by and later emerged from the surrounding seas at least four times in recent geologic history. As glaciers expanded, they consumed bodies of water, including the shallow tropical seas covering Florida, causing the land to emerge.

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Terrapin

 

There are seven types of terrapins In South Florida, there are three subspecies which include T. Tequesta in Biscayne Bay, T. rhizophoraruum in the Keys, and T. macrospilota in Florida Bay

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Green Turtle

 

 

The green turtle can be found throughout the world in all tropical and sub-tropical oceans. In the U.S., Atlantic green turtles can be found around the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and continental U.S. from Texas to Massachusetts. Important feeding areas for green turtles in Florida include Indian River Lagoon, Florida Keys, Florida Bay, Homosassa, Crystal River and Cedar Key.

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