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Pine Rocklands and Rockland Hammocks in Florida

Pine rockland and rockland hammock are unique natural communities found only in extreme southern Florida where limestone is at or very near the soil surface.  These distinct community types co-occur in limited areas of Dade and Monroe counties on the Miami Rockridge, as well as in the Florida Keys and in parts of Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Natural Preserve. 

Pine rockland is a fire-adapted community composed of an open canopy of south Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa) and a diverse array of understory shrubs and herbs, including many tropical species.  Rockland hammock occurs within pine rocklands in areas protected from fire, or embedded within several wetland community types.  The rockland hammock is a closed canopy hardwood forest dominated by a diverse suite of subtropical trees and shrubs.

Pine rocklands and rockland hammocks support a high diversity of rare plant species, as well as an array of endemic, tropical and subtropical plants and animals, species that occur nowhere else in the world. Both rockland community types are severely threatened by agriculture and development pressures in south Florida. The current extent of these communities represents only a fraction – about two percent – of their historic range.  Other threats include invasion by exotic plants and animals, sea-level rises associated with global warming, habitat fragmentation and, in the case of pine rockland, fire suppression.

 

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Wildlife Legacy Initiative Description

Florida's Wildlife Legacy Initiative is our opportunity to conserve Florida’s wildlife and their habitats. The goal is to prevent wildlife from becoming endangered before they become more rare and costly to protect.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Description of Pink Rocklands

Learn more about Pine Rocklands through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Website.

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Miami Dade County Pine Rocklands Description

Learn more about Pine Rocklands through the Miami-Dade County Website.

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