October 05, 2018

Underestimated Split Oak Forest historic sandhill

I wrote my thesis on the historical ecology of Split Oak Forest. However, I did not ground-truth all of my land cover assumptions as my thesis was unfunded and time-restricted. Upon visiting the Castle Hill site in Clermont and the Warea Tract of the Seminole State Forest I was compelled to re-examine my maps of the historical sandhill in Split Oak Forest. I believe that I highly underestimated the historic sandhill in Split Oak. Split Oak Forest certainly has it's fair share of scrubby sandhill (scrubby flatwoods x sandhill = scrub oaks & sand pines) but there are many examples of very old-looking American Turkey Oaks surrounded by wiregrass in what the Cooperative Land Cover Layer v3.0 now calls Scrubby Flatwoods. That's not right. Sandhill is a G3 (Globally Vulnerable) and S2 (State Imperiled). It is critical that we identify all possible restorable sandhill and advocate for its full restoration.

FWC Sandhill Restoration Map: https://friendsofsplitoak.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/SOFWEA_FWC_sandhill-restoration-sites.jpg
FWC Historic Vegetation Communities: https://friendsofsplitoak.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Historic-Vegetative-Communities.jpg
My thesis 1947 Land Cover Map: https://friendsofsplitoak.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/1947.png

To this end, I am embarking on a project to map all sandhill-associated plant and animal species and document their occurrence in Split Oak Forest. This will tie-in to Friends of Split Oak Forest's Fall 2018 BioBlitz planned for October 26-28.

This first area I'm focusing on is the sandhill area in the Osceola County part of Split Oak Forest.

Posted on October 05, 2018 06:21 PM by valerietheblonde valerietheblonde | 39 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Archives