|SOUTH FLORIDA ROCKLAND
SUBSTRATE: Shallow soils over outcroppings of limestone;
subtropical to tropical hardwood hammock soils are largely organic.
of broad-leaved, evergreen trees typical of Bahamas and Greater
Antilles; many tropical epiphytes; more than 150 species of trees
and shrubs native to hammocks of Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties.
Pine forestsdominated by south Florida
variety of slash pine; diverse understory of mostly tropical shrubs,
as well as many endemic herbs.
FAUNA: Vertebrates, except for birds, of temperate
origin and derived largely from southeastern U.S. fauna; West Indian
land birds, such as mangrove cuckoos, butterflies, and land snails
are widespread in tropical hammocks of Florida Keys; endangered
Schaus butterfly and smallest white-tailed deer in U.S.
PROCESSES / DYNAMICS / ABIOTIC FACTORS: Pine forests
occur in areas with permanent, fresh groundwater; fire required
for maintenance of pine forests; some hammock trees such as gumbo
limbo and mahogany also appear to require openings from fire or
other disturbances in order to regenerate.
HUMAN IMPACTS: Habitats rapidly shrinking from urban
development; many earlier hammocks and pinelands cleared by logging
or for agriculture; exotic plants such as Brazilian pepper are major
threat; exotic tropical vertebrates increasing rapidly and spreading
ANIMALS AND PLANTS NATIVE TO ECOSYSTEM: List of selectable
animals and plants
native to the Rockland ecosystem, with detailed descriptions and
pictures on each.