Botany -- Florida
The vegetation of eight east-central Florida maritime hammocks studied in 1997 were compared to similar data collected over 20 years ago. Study sites are located in the northern half of the Indian River Lagoon system mostly within Canaveral National Seashore and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The upland hammock vegetation throughout the state generally has an oak-palm association, but here these species dominate. Results show that sabal palm, live oak, laurel oak, and pignut hickory, the four dominant tree species in 1976-77, are still dominant in 1997; however, there has been a loss in tree species richness. Most shrub species found during both studies increased in dominance over the 20 years and there was almost a complete turnover in the composition of herbs. Variability in winter freeze events has caused a unique mixture of plant species to occur here. Many of the maritime hammock’s tropical plants are in the northern limit of their range, giving these hammocks a unique ecotonal character. Tropical invasive exotics have increased in frequency, density, and basal area and pose a threat to this diverse floral complex.
Taylor, Walter Kingsley
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
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Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Spence, Donald John, "Composition and change of maritime hammock flora in east-central Florida after 20 years" (1998). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 2543.