Science & Research

Plant and Pollinator Surveys in the Coastal Dune Lake watershed

The Florida panhandle is home to globally rare coastal dune lakes. These lakes and surrounding habitat have been drastically altered due to decades of fire suppression. Fire suppression has caused declines in plant diversity and dramatic shifts in habitat structure by allowing woody vegetation to encroach into the once herbaceous wetland ecosystems that surround the coastal dune lakes. 

In 2011, the Garden partnered with the Florida Park Service in a large-scale restoration initiative involving three of these coastal dune lakes. The restoration effort has improved the ability of the Park Service to apply prescribed fire across the entire landscape. Atlanta Botanical Garden Staff will be returning to restoration sites within the watershed of one of the coastal dune lakes in order to survey for rare plants and pollinators in hopes of identifying links between restoration and the return of rare plants and pollinators to these globally rare habitats.