Bottomland Forest Ecosystems

bottomlandThis section gives an introduction to Florida's bottomland forest ecosystems. Coral reefs, inshore marine systems, mangroves, salt marshes, freshwater aquatic systems, and grassland ecosystems are not included in this section in order to maintain focus, but are of equal importance to those introduced here. The information in this section comes from "Ecosystems of Florida" edited by Ronald Myers and John Ewel.

Swamps, or forest wetlands, are widely distributed throughout the state. They fringe rivers, follow drainages and occupy small shallow ponds. Heads, galls, domes, bays, strands and hammocks are some of the swamp types that can be identified.

There are four environmental variables necessary to explain the structural and functional diversity within and among Florida swamps: hydroperiod (length of time soils are saturated with water), fire frequency, organic matter accumulation, and water quality.

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