Field Guides

Natural Communities

Note: all links below are to pdf files (all files are less than 1MB).

HARDWOOD FORESTED UPLANDS - mesic or xeric forests dominated mainly by hardwood trees

HIGH PINE and SCRUB - hills with mesic or xeric woodlands or shrublands; canopy, if present, open and consisting of pine or a mixture of pine and deciduous hardwoods.

PINE FLATWOODS and DRY PRAIRIE � mesic or hydric pine woodland or mesic shrubland on flat sandy or limestone subtrates, may have a hard pan that impedes drainage.

COASTAL UPLANDS � mesic or xeric communities restricted to barrier islands and near shore; woody or herbaceous vegetation; other communities may also occur in coastal environments.

SINKHOLES and OUTCROP COMMUNITIES � small extent communities in karst features or on exposed limestone.

FRESHWATER NON-FORESTED WETLANDS � herbaceous or shrubby palustrine communities in floodplains or depressions; canopy trees, if present, very sparse and often stunted (includes low canopied sloughs).

FRESHWATER FORESTED WETLANDS � floodplains or depressions dominated by hydrophytic trees.

  • Cypress/Tupelo � dominated entirely by cypress or tupelo, or these species important in the canopy; long hydroperiod.
  • Hardwood � dominated by a mix of hydrophytic hardwood trees; cypress or tupelo may be occasional or infrequent in the canopy; short hydroperiod.

MARINE AND ESTUARINE VEGETATED WETLANDS � intertidal or supratidal zone dominated by herbaceous or woody halophytic vascular plants; salinity >0.5 ppt.


    • *Clastic Upland Lake
    • *Coastal Dune Lake
    • *Coastal Rockland Lake
    • *Flatwoods/Prairie/Marsh Lake
    • *River Floodplain Lake
    • *Swamp Lake
    • *Sandhill Upland Lake
    • *Sinkhole Lake


    • *Alluvial Stream
    • *Blackwater Stream
    • *Seepage Stream
    • *Spring-run Stream


    • *Aquatic Cave
    • *Terrestrial Cave


  • Mineral Based
    • *Consolidated Substrate
    • *Unconsolidated Substrate
  • Faunal Based
    • *Coral Reef
    • *Mollusk Reef
    • *Octocoral Bed
    • *Sponge Bed
    • *Worm Reef
  • Floral Based (mainly subtidal)
    • *Algal Bed
    • *Seagrass Bed
  • Composite Substrate
    • *Composite Substrate

*These concepts are unchanged from the 1990 Guide.