24 Jun 2022


Florida’s Major Natural Systems: A Summary

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Academic level: College

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There are three types of major natural systems in Florida’s major ecosystem. These ecosystems are important to the environment and atmosphere in Florida. These natural resources to the environment are under constant threat due to various activities in Florida. The Coastal Ecosystems, Upland Ecosystems and Freshwater and Aquatic Ecosystems are constituents of Florida’s major natural system (Hurt, Watts & Henderson, 1995). 

The Coastal Ecosystems consist of the Florida coastal uplands that run 275 miles along the northern edge of the Florida Panhandle which in turn, continues into the central peninsula. The Coastal Uplands, an example of this ecosystem, is situated near the shores and it is limited to barrier islands; there is herby or woody environment. The soils in this area are mostly sandy and loamy and are more susceptible to erosion. This ecosystem is composed of landforms like flats, floodplains, rises, terraces, depressions and knolls. The construction of residential buildings and resorts bear a great threat to this ecosystem due to their prime scenic locations. Also, practices such as timber cutting pose a threat to the sustainability of the Coastal Uplands (Hurt, Watts & Henderson, 1995). 

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The Freshwater Forested Wetlands are an example of a Freshwater Wetlands and Aquatic ecosystem in Florida. This ecosystem is found mostly along the rivers and streams of Florida. The physical landforms in this region consist of depressions and floodplains that were covered by hydrophytes like the cypress tree. The soils were mostly clay and sandy soils that could hold water for the trees to survive. The draining of swamps, coupled with the clearing of tree vegetation pose a great threat to these Wetlands (Schwartz, 1994). 

The Upland Ecosystems consist of mangroves, salt marshes and some forest systems. This type of ecosystem is dominated by hardwood tress for the Hardwood forested Uplands. The soils in this ecosystem are mainly xeric, mesic and hydric; these are dry, moderately moist and wet soils. The landforms found in this area are coastal plains on which the hardwood trees and needle palms grow freely. 


Hurt, G. W., Watts, F. C., & Henderson Jr, W. G. (1995). Soil and water relationships of Florida's ecological communities and hydric soil indicators.  Hydric Soils of Florida Handbook, Second Edition, VW Carlisle,(Ed.). Florida Association of Environmental Soil Scientists, Gainesville, FL .

Schwartz, M. W. (1994). Natural distribution and abundance of forest species and communities in northern Florida.  Ecology 75 (3), 687-705.

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