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Natural Communities of GTM Research Reserve Quick Topics
Sea oats

Sea oats on a beach dune

Natural Communities Directly Managed by CAMA

Community Type  Acres Description


Fire-maintained community of sand pines and scrub oak with minimal ground vegetation.
Xeric Hammock 668 Scrubby dense low canopy forest with palmetto, or a multi-storied forest of tall trees.
Beach Dune


Wind-deposited foredune and wave-deposited upper beach that are vegetated with pioneer species, especially sea oats.
Coastal Strand


Stabilized, wind-deposited coastal dunes that are vegetated with a dense thicket of salt-tolerant shrubs.
Coastal Interdunal Swale 27 Habitats in a dune and swale topography where groundwater intersects with the bottom of the swale and saltwater flooding is infrequent.
Maritime Hammock 370 A narrow band of hardwood forest lying just inside of the Coastal Strand.
Mesic Flatwoods


Widely-spaced pine trees with little or no understory, but a dense ground cover of herbs and shrubs.
Depression Marsh


Shallow, usually rounded depression in sand substrate with herbaceous vegetation, often in concentric bands.
Estuarine Tidal Marsh


Expanses of grasses, rushes and sedges along coastlines of low wave energy and river mouths.
Tidal Swamp 346 Tidal swamps are dense, low forests occurring along relatively flat shorelines of low wave energy.
Unconsolidated Substrate


Expansive, relatively open areas of subtidal, intertidal, and supratidal zones which lack dense populations of sessile plant and animal species.


Natural ground cover severely disturbed by human influence.
Open Water 31692 Non-FNAI categories marine habitat consisting of pelagic water areas.
Not Mapped 709 The natural communities of these areas has not been determined.
Since boundaries between habitats tend to be more gradual than those typically defined in habitat maps, all acreage estimates are approximate.

Additional Natural Communities of GTM Research Reserve

Community Type Description
Sandhill Forest of widely spaced pine trees with a sparse understory of oaks and dense ground cover of grasses and herbs on rolling hills of sand.
Coastal Berm Plant associations that develop on ridges of storm-deposited sand, shells and debris.
Shell Mound An elevated mound of mollusk shells and aboriginal refuse on which a hardwood, closed-canopy forest develops.
Scrubby Flatwood Widely scattered pine trees with a sparse shrubby understory and numerous sand patches.
Upland Mixed Forest Well-developed, closed canopy forests of upland hardwoods on rolling hills.
Dome Swamp Shallow, forested, usually circular depression that generally presents a domed profile because smaller trees grow in the shallower waters at the outer edge, while deeper trees grow in the deeper water in the interior.
Floodplain Swamp Swamps occurring on flooded soils along stream channels and in low spots within the river floodplains. Dominant trees are usually buttressed hydrophytic trees such as cypress or tupelo.
Marsh Lake Similar to Depression Marshes, except water generally remains all year.
Blackwater Stream Watercourses originating deep in sandy lowlands where extensive wetlands with organic soils function as reservoirs.
Estuarine Mollusk Reef Expansive concentrations of sessile mollusks occurring in intertidal and subtidal zones.
Marine Consolidated Substrate Represented by an outcrop of coquina rock called the Anastasia Formation that is supratidal to subtidal. Zoned by the colors of the dominant alga.
Marine Unconsolidated Substrate The portion of the coast that is seaward of the beach dune community.
Swale marsh

Coastal interdunal swale marsh

Hardwood hammock

Maritime hammock

Tidal marsh

Open water

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Last updated: April 06, 2015

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