Forest structure and succession over a ten year period in six undisturbed South Florida plant communities
|Forest structure and succession over a ten year period in six undisturbed South Florida plant communities
|Year of Publication
|University of Arizona
Data were collected on woody vegetation for 10 years in 6 undisturbed plant communities including slash pine forest, wet prairie, hardwood hammock, edge and interior old-growth cypress forests, and freshwater marsh at National Audubon Society's Corkscrew Swamp Sancturary in South Florida. Forested communities all showed a trend toward greater successional maturity. Numbers and total basal areas generally decreased over the 10 year period for early successional species and tropical species affected by the 1982 freeze in hammock and edge cypress communities. Otherwise, total basal areas steadily increased for all species in the forested communities. Initially the slash pine forest contained only canopy pine, but hardwoods entered the sites 3-4 years after fire and continued to increase in number throughout the study. Woody vegetation in the two marsh communities were less stable, partially due to fire. Fire and hydrologic conditions had measureable impacts on community structure and growth patterns.