Flatwoods Ecosystem Management Study

Upland Habitat scientists evaluate vegetation management methods to determine the techniques that best maintain and restore flatwoods ecosystems. Land management strategies under evaluation include chop and burn, herbicide and burn, and burn-only.

Upland Habitat scientists are evaluating current vegetation control methods to determine which techniques are best suited to manage flatwoods ecosystems. Treatments under evaluation include chop and burn, herbicide and burn, and burn-only. Study areas include the Apalachicola River Wildlife Environmental Area (WEA), the Caravelle Ranch Wildlife Management Area (WMA), the Half Moon WMA, and the Three Lakes WMA. Quadrants (four-sided sampling areas) and the line-intercept method (used to measure the amount of space occupied by a plant) are used to sample herbaceous and woody vegetation, respectively, in experimental blocks randomly assigned to 12 test plots. Some of the factors used to determine an effective, low-cost treatment for flatwoods systems are: the degree to which the vegetation shades the surface of the ground, the number of individual plants in an area, the amount of bare ground, and the height of the vegetation.

Reference: Guide to the Natural Communities of Florida 2010 Edition (PDF 19 MB)

Map of Caravelle Ranch WMA Flatwoods Project

Map of Apalachicola River WEA Flatwoods Project

Map of Half Moon WMA Flatwoods Project

Map of Three Lakes Flatwoods Project

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Flatwoods right after a roller chop treatment

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Roller chop post-treatment, year three

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Roller chop post-treatment, year four

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