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Natural Communities of North Fork St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve Quick Topics
Natural Communities Within North Fork St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve

Mollusk (oyster) reef

Community Type Acres Description
Estuarine Tidal Marsh


Expanses of grasses, rushes and sedges along coastlines of low wave energy and river mouths.
Mollusk Reef 31 Expansive concentrations of sessile mollusks occurring in intertidal and subtidal zones.
Unconsolidated Substrate


Expansive, relatively open areas of subtidal, intertidal, and supratidal zones which lack dense populations of sessile plant and animal species.
Estuarine Tidal Swamp 535 Dense, low forests occurring along relatively flat shorelines of low wave energy.
Freshwater Tidal Swamp 119 Occur on floodplains just inland or upstream from estuarine tidal swamps.
Slough 40 Broad shallow channels, inundated with flowing water except during extreme droughts.

Since boundaries between habitats tend to be more gradual than those typically defined in habitat maps, all acreage estimates are approximate.

Estuarine tidal swamp (red mangroves)

Natural Communities Adjacent to North Fork St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve
Community Type Description
Seagrass Beds Expansive stands of vascular plants that occur in subtidal (rarely intertidal) zones, in clear, coastal waters where wave energy is moderate.
Hydric Hammock A well-developed hardwood and cabbage palm forest with variable understory often dominated by palms and ferns.
Floodplain Marsh Wetlands of herbaceous vegetation and low shrubs that are flooded by flowing water for about 250 days annually.
Floodplain Forest Forests that are inundated by floodwaters nearly every year for up to 50% of the growing season.
Depression Marsh Shallow, usually rounded depression in sand substrate with herbaceous vegetation, often in concentric bands.
Scrubby Flatwoods Widely scattered pine trees with a sparse shrubby understory and numerous sand patches.
Xeric Hammock Scrubby dense low canopy forest with palmetto, or a multi-storied forest of tall trees.
Ruderal Natural ground cover severely disturbed by human influence.






Last updated: April 06, 2015

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