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FSU BOT 3015 - Learning Objectives

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Plant Diversity of Florida (Topic 11)Learning ObjectivesPlant Biology (BOT 3015)Dr. Mast• 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? Native, naturalized.o There are 4200 native and naturalized species of vascular plants in florida.o The two biotic hotspots of Florida are the panhandle and the middle of the peninsula.o The Florida Natural Areas Inventory is the state natural heritage program. FNAI builds and maintains a comprehensive database of the biological resources of Florida. It recognizes 68 natural communitites.o FNAI’s biodiversity Matrix tool is a tool that provides a means to search FNAI’s locality data. o Native: Plants that originated in a certain area (Florida if they are native to florida).o Naturalized: Plants brought into an area that aren’t native and then flourish and grow in that new area. (i.e. venus fly trap in florida).• What are associations and ecoregions? How do they differ? In what ecoregion does the Nature Conservancy place the Florida Panhandle? How many plant taxa are endemic to the East Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregion? To the Florida Peninsula ecoregion? Association, ecoregion, the East Gulf Coastal Plain, Florida Peninsula ecoregion, endemic.o Associations are natural communities. There are 68 in Florida. An ecoregion is a large geographically defined area that has relatively constant climate and geology and that supports a distinctive group of species and ecological communities. These two differ in that ecoregions are more broad and large than associations (68 associations in Florida while there are only 4 ecoregions in Florida). o The Florida Panhandle is placed in the East Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregion.o There are 125 taxa endemic to the East Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregion. To the Florida Peninsula ecoregion there are 122 taxa.o The Florida Peninsula ecoregion and East Gulf Coastal Plain ecoregion are the two largest ecoregions in Florida.o Endemic: Prevalent in or peculiar to a particular locality or region. Ecologically native to or confined to a certain region.• 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, karst.o Physiography is the physical geography, the description of the Earth’s geography.o The Florida Peninsula is a distinctive feature of the coastal plain, whereas the Panhandle is not a distinctive part of the coastal plain.The parts of the map shaded green are the highlands of the panhandle. They are the located on the northwest and northeast parts of the panhandle. The parts shaded orange are the areas of karst topography. The orange part in between the two highlands is the Marianna Lowlands and the part shaded orange below the Tallahassee Hills is the Woodville Karst Plain. The parts shaded yellow are the Gulf Coastal Lowlands.o Florida’s highest point (Britton Hill) is the lowest high point of any state.o Karst is a type of topography that has a landscape distinctive dissolution patterns often marked by underground drainages. These are areas where the bedrock has soluble layer or layers, usually, but not always, of carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite. Characterized by limestone outcrops, sinkholes, caverns, and springs.o You see Dunes on the coastal left side of the panhandle and you see marshes/swamps on the eastern coastal side of the panhandle. They are distributed this way because the eastern coastal side has low wave action which leads to the formation of coastal marsh; and the western coastal side of the panhandle has high wave action which leads to the formation of dunes and barrier islands.• 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.o Climate is the year to year persistence of weather patterns over time at a particular place.o No other state except Alaska has more miles of coastline. Every point in the state is within 70 miles of the coast. Proximity to the coast affects the probability of frost in the winter; the probability decreases as you get closer to the coast. Also, the probability of frost varies considerably from north to south. The ocean causes the state’s climate to not be uniform all over the state. This causes humidity provinces which in turn causes plants to be distributed in areas where they grow best.o The Florida Panhandle receives much more rainfall annually than the rest of the country. o Lightning ignited fires peak in Florida during May and June.• 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, High Pine, Flatwood, Swamp, grass stage. o The major community types of the Panhandle are the Temperate Hardwood Forests (Hammock), High Pine, Flatwoods, and Swamps.o Temperate Hardwood Forests are found primarily in the northern highlands of the peninsula (Red Hills region). The High Pine regions are most prevalent in the Panhandle highlands as well. The Flatwoods are most prevalent in the southern part of the Florida Panhandle. The swamps are most prevalent in the southeast coastal part of the panhandle.o Effects of humans on High Pines: Because of logging there were decreased fire frequencies causing most pine sites to be dominated by turkey oak instead of pine today. 25 million hectares of longleaf pine forests existed in the coastal plain just before European settlement. Roughly 3% of the uplands in


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