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FSU BOT 3015 - Plant Diversity of Florida

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Plant Diversity of Florida1. How many native and naturalized vascular plant species are there in Florida? Where are the biotic hotspots of Florida? What is the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, and what is FNAI’s Biodiversity Matrix tool?• 4200 species of native and naturalized plants• Naturalized- introduced and became self-sustaining population• Florida contains two biotic hotspots: (1) the panhandle areas, and (2) the Keyso Contain large number of imperiled species• Florida Natural Areas Inventory- the state natural heritage programo builds and maintains a comprehensive database of the biological resources of Floridao FNAI’s Biodiversity Matrix tool provides a means to search FNAI’s locality data2. What are associations and eco-regions? How do they differ? In what eco-region does the Nature Conservancy place the Florida Panhandle? How many plant taxa are endemic to the East Gulf Coastal Plain eco-region? To the Florida Peninsula eco-region?• Association- represents a plant assemblage that always exhibits similar total species composition and vegetation structure and that occurs repeatedly across the landscape, wherever certain habitat conditions exist• Eco-region- a large geographically defined area that has relatively constant climate and geology and that supports a distinctive group of species and ecological communitieso The Florida panhandle is located in the East Gulf Coastal Plain eco-region Has 125 endemic plant taxao Florida Peninsula eco-region has 122 endemic plant taxa• Endemic-a species is only found in that location3. What is physiography? Is the Peninsula a distinctive part of the coastal plain? Is the Panhandle a distinctive part of the coastal plain? Where are the highlands, lowlands, and the karst plains in the Panhandle (be familiar with the map that is given)? How does Florida’s highest point compare to that of other states? What is karst? Where do you see dunes vs. marshes in the Panhandle? Why are they distributed in this way?• Physiography-physical geography, the description of the Earth’s surfaceo Florida lies entirely within the coastal plain but the panhandle is not a distinct featureo Florida’s highest point is the lowest high point of any state• Karst topography-is a landscape of distinctive dissolution patterns often marked by underground drainageso areas where the bedrock has a soluble layer or layers, usually, but not always, of carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomiteo characterized by limestone outcrops, sinkholes, caverns, and springs• Low wave action leads to the formation of coastal marsh; high wave action leads to the formation of dunes and barrier islands4. What is climate? How does the ocean affect the state’s climate (e.g., mean number of annual frost occurrences) and the distribution of its species? How much precipitation does the Florida Panhandle receive relative to the rest of the nation? When (which months) is the peak of lightening ignited fires in Florida? • Climate-the year-to-year persistence of weather patterns over time at a particular place• Florida has the second-most miles of coastline and every point in the state is within 70 miles of the coast• primary peak in rainfall occurs in the summer (June-September) from local thunderstorms associated with convection currents that arise because of differential heating of the land and water surfaces• Lightening ignited fires are most frequent in May and June5. What are the major community types of the Panhandle? In what physiographic regions of the Panhandle do we see these major community types today? What human activities have changed each of these community types? Be able to associate the major community types with species found in them (species that were discussed in lecture; e.g., longleaf pine). How is Longleaf Pine fire-tolerant? Do any swamp species rely on fire for establishment?• Hammock/Temperate hardwood forest-temperate upland forest dominated primarily by trees that are angiospermso mixed evergreen deciduous hammocks contain the largest numbers of spp. of trees and shrubs per unit area in the continental US (in north FL)o high species diversity is due to variation in disturbances and the responses that specific species have to them In N.FL hammocks have a multi-layered overstory, a discrete understory, and sparse ground cover In peninsula, a lower, less layered overstory that grades into the understory and abundant ground covero Dominant tree is the magnolia and beech; dogwood and American holly also Gopherwood and Florida yewo Species from hammocks can invade dry areas in absence of fire as well as floodplains when floods are infrequent and short Sweetgum and water oak species• High Pine-upland, savanna-like ecosystem typified by an open over story of longleaf pine and ground cover of perennial grasses and forbs interspersed with deciduous clonal oaks.o Longleaf pine- the most fire tolerant of the southern pines; commonly occupies pine overstory Grass stage-meristem is protected by dense tuft of long, moisture-laden needles; building a deep taproot; can remain this way for 10 years bark of longleaf pine thickens into layers of scaly plates which insulate the trunk and also flake off as they burn during a fire bolts fast, using food stored in the taproot to grow up to 1 m in the first growing season. have the largest seeds of any southern pine, and their seeds have a persistent wing that reduces the likelihood that it will penetrate unburned grasses and pinestraw to reach suitable site for germinationo turkey oak is common in the understoryo wiregrass provides most of the ground covero human settlement has severely reduced the % coverage disrupted woodpecker populations• Flatwood-also dominated by longleaf pine, but they are found on low, flat topography with relatively poorly drained soilso Deciduous oaks are absento Dominated by saw palmettos, wiregrasso Have been invaded by Australian cajeput, Brazilian pepper, downy myrtleo Slash and longleaf pine are sources of rosin and turpentine, which are distilled from the sap of the trees• Swamp-forested wetlands; used to cover more than half the stateo fire is relatively common in some types of swamps and plays a role in determining the type of swamp at a site some species depend on it for regeneration require periodic droughto dominated by cypresso affected by humans through runoff, eliminates woodpeckersEarly Development of the Plant


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