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PINE FLATWOODS AND DRY PRAIRIES

SUBSTRATE:  Relatively poorly drained, acidic, sandy soils.

TOPOGRAPHY:   Low, flat

VEGETATION:  Pine flatwoodsoverstory of longleaf, slash, or pond pine dominates; shrub understory contains species such as saw palmetto, wax myrtle, gallberry, and wiregrass.  Dry prairiessimilar to pine flatwoods but lacking pine overstory.

FAUNA:  Diverse birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are found in pine flatwoods, (e.g., eastern diamondback rattlesnake, threatened red-cockaded woodpecker, white-tailed deer, threatened Florida black bear, endangered Florida panther). Dry prairies are primary habitat of threatened crested caracara and threatened sandhill crane.

PROCESSES / DYNAMICS / ABIOTIC FACTORS:  Natural fires tend to maintain relatively stable stands of pine flatwoods and dry prairies.

HUMAN IMPACTS:  Flatwoods and dry prairies combine to produce the most extensive type of major terrestial ecosystem in Florida; they are now being converted to many uses, including agriculture, pasture for livestock, and urbanization; alteration of natural fire regimes can cause major changes in species composition, even when not accompanied by land-use conversions.

ANIMALS AND PLANTS NATIVE TO ECOSYSTEM: List of selectable animals and plants native to the Pine Flatwoods and Dry Prairies ecosystem, with detailed descriptions and pictures on each.