Oct 25, 2019

Monumental difference (of one foot)

A foot of water may not seem like a lot ...

But in the swamp it's monumental.

That's the same
cypress knee!

And not just because these photos were taken near Monument Campground.

No the hydrologic reason is this:

One foot means the difference between a flooded (left) and dry (right) dome.


Anonymous said...


How many years can the cypress dome experience this severe cycle and not be damaged or change into another plant community due to such a severe hydrologic change? Or....Is there flexibility in the adaptation of the cypress to hydrologic changes? How many days a year does it need inundation?

Any thoughts on this?

All the best!

Gohydrology said...

This particular dome is both small and near a canal (i.e. the Tamiami), so it has a flashier and shorter hydroperiod than you see in the interior swamp. But the domes where you find air plants and maximum tropical plant diversity, alligators and rookeries are the ones that hold on to standing water longest and retain water deep into the dry season, and here's the important part: they stay hydric, i.e. they don't dry out. There was a recent article in National Geographic and a paper by Shawn Clem and Mike Duever that highlight this point. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/10/florida-ghost-orchids-threatened-by-development/