Science & Research

Habitat Restoration Research

Fire suppression – the act of preventing naturally occurring fires – has fundamentally altered the ecosystem of Florida's coastal wetlands. What was once seepage slopes and wet prairies comprised of herbaceous ground layer with rare carnivorous plants is now dominated by dense, impassible forest stands dominated by shrubby trees.

This overgrown woody vegetation that has plagued both coastal wetlands and dune lake watersheds has inhibited species diversity and ecological function in these important ecosystems.

The Garden and its conservation partners aim to restore these environments through evaluation, prescribed fires and the reintroduction of rare plant species.

Evaluating management methods In Florida’s Rare Coastal Wetland Ecosystems

With this five-year project in collaboration with the Florida Park Service with grant support from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Garden aims to restore 120 hectares of coastal wetlands radically altered by fire suppression.
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Plant and Pollinator Surveys in the Coastal Dune Lake watershed

In 2011, the Garden partnered with the Florida State Parks District in a large-scale restoration initiative at three of coastal dune lakes on the Florida Panhandle that were fundamentally altered because of fire suppression.
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