This forest is one of the most diverse in the state, because it covers a variety of climates, soils, and moisture conditions. The forest will vary in tree species from north to south Florida, eventually blending into the tropical hammock forest. They even extend into the Appalachian mountains. These forests are usually found in patches, surrounded by flatwoods and sandhill forests. These soils have more clay and soil nutrients than other forests, and therefore retain more soil moisture. Because many different tree and plant species prefer these forests, there is no one dominant tree that covers this ecosystem. Excellent trails through hardwood forests and hammocks are available in Florida Caverns State Park, Dead Lakes State Recreation Area, Mike Roess Goldhead Branch State Park, Torreya State Park, Tosohatchee State Reserve, Faver-Dykes State Park, Silver River State Park, San Felasco Hammock State Preserve, Falling Waters State Recreation Area, Wakulla Springs State Park, and Highlands Hammock State Park.
For the contest...
Each year the contest takes on two ecosystems on a four-year rotation. At this station, when Upland Hardwoods is one of the featured ecosystems, contestants will...
- ID 4 tree or shrub species that are commonly found in each ecosystem.
The four tree and shrub species contestants should know from Upland Hardwoods are:
(Note that bluff oak was added to the upland hardwoods list in 2015 when hophornbeam moved to the tree list.)
- Answer multiple-choice questions about each ecosystem. To prepare, Juniors should read the Forest Story about adventures in each of their designated ecosystems. Intermediates should read the informative text about their designated ecosystems.