Natural Community Accounts

Hardwood Forested Uplands

Mesic or xeric forests dominated mainly by hardwood trees, includes:

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, includes:

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, includes:

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, includes:

Sinkholes and Outcrop Communities

Small extent communities in karst features or on exposed limestone, includes:

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), includes:

Freshwater Forested Wetlands

Floodplains or depressions dominated by hydrophytic trees, includes:

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

Marine and Estuarine Vegetated Wetlands

Intertidal or supratidal zone dominated by herbaceous or woody halophytic vascular plants; salinity >0.5 ppt, includes:

Ponds and Lakes (Lacustrine)

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

Rivers and Streams (Riverine)

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


  • Aquatic Cave*
  • Terrestrial Cave*

Marine and Estuarine

  • 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.