Biodiversity Matrix

FNAI Biodiversity Matrix Map Server

The Biodiversity Matrix Map Server is a screening tool from FNAI that provides immediate, free access to rare species occurrence information statewide. This tool allows you to zoom to your site of interest and create a report listing documented, likely, and potential occurrences of rare species and natural communities.

The FNAI Biodiversity Matrix offers built-in interpretation of the likelihood of species occurrence for each 1-square-mile Matrix Unit across the state. The report includes a site map and list of species and natural communities by occurrence status: Documented, Documented-Historic, Likely, and Potential.

Biodiversity Matrix
Map Server

Which species are included?

The Biodiversity Matrix includes all species and natural communities tracked by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, including all federal listed species. Species that are common and wide-ranging in Florida are not included.

How is the Matrix different from FNAI's Element Occurrence data?

FNAI Element Occurrence data are built into the Biodiversity Matrix. Element occurrences with high locational precision are generally listed as Documented in the Matrix, while lower-precision occurrences may be listed as Likely or Potential.

The Biodiversity Matrix includes more information than just element occurrences however. Occurrence-based potential habitat models, natural community models, and species predicted range models are also included to fill in the gaps between documented occurrences.

Does the Biodiversity Matrix report satisfy requirements for a letter or report from FNAI?

Some government agencies or other organizations require a statement of on-site natural resources from FNAI as part of an application or regulatory process. Although we are not the authority on such requirements, FNAI generally does not consider the Biodiversity Matrix report generated from our website map server as an official statement from FNAI. Instead we offer a Standard Data Report which generally meets those requirements.

Why are locations limited to 1 square mile?

For many element occurrences, we do not have location information precise enough to map the occurrence to less than a square mile. Smaller Matrix Units would therefore result in very few species ever being listed as Documented in a Unit. Also, some FNAI occurrences are considered "data sensitive", and our policy is not to give out more precise information for those occurrences.

As always, more precise information is available - request a Standard Data Report.

What's the difference between Documented, Likely, and Potential?

The occurrence status of species and communities in the Biodiversity Matrix is defined as follows:

  • DOCUMENTED - There is a documented occurrence in the FNAI database of the species or community within this Matrix Unit.
  • DOCUMENTED-HISTORIC - There is a documented occurrence in the FNAI database of the species or community within this Matrix Unit; however the occurrence has not been observed/reported within the last twenty years.
  • LIKELY - The species or community is known to occur in this vicinity, and is considered likely within this Matrix Unit because:
    1. a documented occurrence overlaps this and adjacent Matrix Units, but the documentation isn't precise enough to indicate which of those Units the species or community is actually located in; or
    2. there is a documented occurrence in the vicinity and there is suitable habitat for that species or community within this Matrix Unit.
  • POTENTIAL - This Matrix Unit lies within the known or predicted range of the species or community based on expert knowledge and environmental variables such as climate, soils, topography, and landcover.

My site includes a lot of Potential species, do I need to address impacts to all of those species?

If a Matrix Unit lists a species as Potential, that means the Unit lies within the known or predicted range of that species. The chance of the species occurring on any single Matrix Unit within its range may actually be quite low. FNAI does not recommend that any regulatory requirement be based solely upon the inclusion of a species listed as Potential in the Matrix. We always recommend that a site specific survey be conducted for any project to determine the current presence/absence of rare species. The list of Potential species provides a good starting point for field surveys.

Do I need special software to view the Biodiversity Matrix Map Server?

You will need Adobe Flash. The Biodiversity Matrix is compatible with most current browsers, but may be incompatible with some tablets/mobile devices without support for Flash.

Download the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player.


- D I S C L A I M E R -

The data maintained by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory represent the single most comprehensive source of information available on the locations of rare species and other significant ecological resources statewide. However, the data are not always based on comprehensive or site-specific field surveys. Therefore, this information should not be regarded as a final statement on the biological resources of the site being considered, nor should it be substituted for on-site surveys. FNAI shall not be held liable for the accuracy and completeness of these data, or opinions or conclusions drawn from these data. FNAI is not inviting reliance on these data. Inventory data are designed for the purposes of conservation planning and scientific research and are not intended for use as the primary criteria for regulatory decisions.


Biodiversity Matrix
Map Server