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South Florida Aquatic Environments

Pinelands



FIRE IMPACT
Pineland Fire!
courtesy U.S. Geological Survey

Pineland Fire


Pinelands:

Fire Impact

  • Slash pines have adaptations to survive periodic fires
With the absence of periodic fires, hardwood tree species residing in
hammock habitats would outcompete slash pines, eventually taking over the pinelands. The Florida slash pine is a fire-tolerant species with multi-layered bark, long needles that protect vulnerable buds, and seedlings with thick fire-resistant stems. As fires sweep through pineland habitats, only the outer layer of bark is damaged, allowing slash pines to survive while other species are destroyed. However, if fires are absent for a number of years, hardwoods will invade the pinelands and eventually become dominant.

Smoldering Fire
© Maynard Hiss
Pineland Fire