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Mesic Flatwoods

mesic flatwoods habitat

Mesic flatwoods dominate the upland portions of Half Moon that were not converted to pastures; they are characterized by a sparse overstory of longleaf pine and a moderately dense understory of saw palmetto and oaks. On more poorly drained sites, slash and loblolly pine dominate the overstory.


Gulf fritillary butterfly close up

One small 15-acre natural stand of sandhill remains on the area. The longleaf pine canopy has a subcanopy of bluejack oaks, sand live oaks, live oak and turkey oak.  Scattered clumps of saw palmetto and sparkleberry occur over a groundcover of wiregrass, gopher apple and shiny blueberry.


harwood hammock

Mesic hammocks, with their ancient oaks and open understory, occur widely over Half Moon. These hammocks represent a climax community in the process of ecological succession; fire no longer penetrates this habitat. Hydric hammocks have a mixed canopy of deciduous and evergreen hardwoods and occur in the ecotone between floodplain swamp and uplands. A small area of xeric hammock is found on some of the highest elevations on Half Moon. Their canopy of tall scrub oaks and longleaf pine is the result of lack of fire in scrub or sandhill habitats. 



Diverse, freshwater wetlands comprise 40 percent of Half Moon WMA. In emergent wetlands such as depression marshes on Half Moon, common plants include maidencane, yellow-eyed grass, sawgrass, sand cordgrass, pickerelweed, lance-leaved arrowhead, buttonbush and wax myrtle. Bald cypress, swamp tupelo, red maple and green ash occur in forested wetlands such as floodplain swamps. In the floodplain forest, typical trees include live oak, laurel oak, American hornbeam and blue palm.