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Wetland Evaluation and Delineation Program

Wetland Communities - Cypress domes and Stringers (Strands)

Cypress domes are forested wetlands (swamps) that are dominated by bald cypress and/or pond cypress. Generally these are depression wetlands with a domed canopy and mucky, organic soils. Often this plant community is associated with a seepage bog or savanna and is related to the bayhead community. Most of the characteristics of cypress dome swamps overlap with a bayhead. Pond cypress usually dominate these dome swamps in pine flatwoods, a variation on this type of community occurs along karst rivers (Aucilla river), here the dominant is bald cypress. Swamp gum, red maple, sweetbay (magnolia), dahoon holly, swamp bay and slash pine may be found in the canopy. Tropical species such as pond apple may be found in cypress domes in south Florida. Groundcover plants may be sparse due to prolonged inundation of these landscapes. Typical hydrologic indicators include: algal mats, aquatic mosses and liverworts, aquatic plants, elevated lichen lines, evidence of aquatic fauna, morphological plant adaptations, vegetated hummocks and tussocks, and water marks.

Cypress Dome



Botanical name Common name DEP status
Acer rubrum red maple FACW
Gordonia lasianthus loblolly bay FACW
Magnolia virginiana var. australis sweetbay magnolia OBL
Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora swamp tupelo OBL
Persea palustris swamp bay OBL
Pinus ellottii slash pine UPLAND
Taxodium ascendens pond cypress OBL
Taxodium distichum bald cypress OBL


Subcanopy and Groundcover

Botanical name Common name DEP status
Annona glabra pond apple OBL
Ilex cassine dahoon holly OBL
Itea virginica Virginia willow OBL
Lyonia lucida fetter-bush FACW
Viburnum nudum possum-haw viburnum FACW



Botanical name Common name DEP status
Blechnum serrulatum swamp fern FACW
Osmunda cinnamomea cinnamon fern FACW
Osmunda regalis royal fern OBL
Woodwardia areolata chainfern OBL
Woodwardia virginica chainfern FACW



Soils commonly associated with this community are nearly level or depressional, poorly to very poorly drained, and are composed of organic or mineral surfaces with a loamy subsoil. A Histosols may be present particularly in the center of the dome. Representative soils include:

Dorovan-Pamlico association, frequently flooded

Dorovan These soils are formed from the decomposition of woody and herbaceous plants. They are on broad, nearly level flooded plains of major streams and large hardwood swamps.

Dysic, thermic Typic Medisaprists

Pamlico - Sandy or sandy-skeletal, siliceous, dysic, thermic Terric Medisaprists

Cypress Stringers

Cypress Slough

Pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens) swamp or "stringer" in a larger landscape of pitcher plant savanna (also known as "wet prairies"). These are cypress swamps usually composed of dwarfed pond cypress that characterize the wettest areas of this relatively flat landscape. Both the savanna and swamp are wetlands. This landscape is dependant on frequent fires for maintenance.

Photo taken in August, site is located in the Apalachicola National Forest.

Last updated: June 30, 2015

  2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500   Tallahassee, Florida 32399   850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax) 
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