Pine-Dominated Upland Forests
Pine dominated upland forests include community types such as natural pinelands (pine flatwoods), sandhill, pine rockland and commercial and industrial pine (silviculture) community types. Pine Rockland is a unique type of pine flatwoods that is found exclusively on limestone substrate in the Florida Keys, the Big Cypress Swamp and the Miami Rock Ridge. These habitats depend upon disturbance (fire) at varying frequencies depending on the community type, location, and management objective. The USFWS Multi-species recovery plan for South Florida includes characteristics and specific habitat management objectives for: high pine (Sandhill), mesic pine flatwoods, hydric pine flatwoods, and pine rocklands.
Examples Habitat Management Objectives:
Sandhill: Basal Area of 20 – 80 ft2/acre; maximum canopy cover of < 50%; maximum shrub cover of < 30%; minimum ground cover of > 40%
Longleaf Pine: Basal Area of 40-80 ft2/acre; native grass/forbs groundcover > 40%
Mesic Flatwoods: Basal area of 10-70 ft2/acre; average maximum shrub height of ≤ 5 feet, shrub cover of 25-50%; average maximum palmetto height of ≤ 3 feet, maximum palmetto cover of 25-75%; herbaceous cover of 25-75%, wiry graminoid cover of 25-75%; weedy and exotic element cover of <1%
Utilize timber harvest to manage the trees in the overstory of the plant community.
Manage the height and density of mid-story shrubs and trees by utilizing prescribed fire, mechanical treatment, and herbicide application.
Manage the ground cover density and composition by utilizing appropriate disturbance techniques at different times of the year. (e.g., growing season disturbance favors herbaceous ground cover).
Retain dead and dying trees as potential cavity trees and protect during prescribed fire; however for specific red-cockaded woodpecker cavity tree management follow the USFWS Recovery Plan and the FWC Management Plan.
Retain tree stumps and fallen logs for refugia.
Refer to BMPs established by FFS* where silviculture occurs.
Use FWC-OBVM/FNAI reference sites to determine future desired conditions.
* In September 2011, the Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) changed its name to Florida Forest Service (FFS).