basin swamp

Basin Swamp

Pond cypress dominates this community and includes some trees that over a century old. Some swamp tupelo occurs with the cypress. In areas where the overstory canopy is more open, a dense shrub layer of buttonbush, titi and wax myrtle grows.




basin marsh

Basin Marsh

Freshwater marsh occurs on nearly level land with poorly drained soils. The marsh contains open expanses of grasses, sedges and rushes and other herbaceous plants.  It is basically a basin swamp with a canopy cover of less than 20 percent.  The soil is usually saturated or covered with water for two hundred days or more during the year. Typical plants include maidencane, sedges, spikerush, smartweed, titi, primrosewillow, American white waterlily, buttonbush, pickerelweed, wax myrtle and Virginia willow.


Upland Pine Forrest

Upland Pine Forest

Upland pine forests are characterized by widely spaced pines with a dense understory of grasses and herbs. They require frequent fire to persist. Historically, small areas of upland pine forest occurred along the Chaires crossroads in the extreme eastern portion of the WEA, and along Highway 27 in the central portion of the area. Today, the upland pine forests on the L. Kirk Edwards WEA are low-lying areas, similar to mesic flatwoods but lacking many of the characteristic species, most notably, any significant amount of saw palmetto. Due to lack of fire, this pine community is now mostly dominated by planted slash pine, with an understory of shrubs such as wax myrtle, piedmont staggerbush and hardwoods such as water oaks and sweetgums.


upland mixed forest
photos by David Moynahan

Upland Mixed Forest

Upland mixed forests occur on mesic soils in areas that have generally experienced long periods without fire. Without frequent fire, upland pine forests will eventually succeed to this type. On the WEA, this community's canopy is dominated by sweetgum, slash pine, loblolly pine, southern red oak, swamp laurel oak, water oak, pignut hickory and live oak. The shrub layer includes red maple, titi, southern magnolia, wax myrtle, water oak, sweetleaf, sparkleberry and highbush blueberry. Due to excessive density of the canopy and shrub layers, herbaceous cover is sparse but includes Virginia snakeroot, winter grape-fern, tall elephantsfoot and partridgeberry with several woody vines such as trumpet creeper, yellow jessamine and various greenbrier species.

FWC Facts:
The Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail is a network of more than 500 Florida sites selected for their excellent bird-watching or education opportunities.

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