Feb 21, 2016

Invasion of the sabal palm?

The swamp is naturally fire adapted,

But when it burns too hot when water levels are too low ...

Healthy pine island

The result can be what happened to the pine island,

As shown in the photograph below.

Previously a pine island
now converting to a sabal
palm grove

The fire caused high slash pine mortality with sabal palm now the dominant canopy cover moving in.  Is this a natural succession change or has a chronically lower water table tilted the balance in favor of sabal palm groves?
 

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