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Hardwood Forests (Hardwood Hammocks)

Florida's only other natural upland habitat is the temperate hardwood forest. Often referred to as hammocks, these habitats typically occur between the pine flatwoods and the numerous wetland habitats.

Distribution of this habitat is weighted towards the northern third of the panhandle and the north central part of the peninsula. South of here, hammocks are widely scattered and tend to be restricted to areas close to the coastlines

The dominate species in this habitat classification varies depending on its location in the state. Hammocks located in the panhandle are dominated by several species of oaks, hickories, and magnolias. There is a diverse understory and a number of plants that are found only in this part of the state.

In the north central part of Florida, the hammocks begin to transition from ones dominated by temperate species to one with a tropical influence. Oaks species are dominate with cabbage palms becoming more abundant the further south you look. The oaks of this region tend to be evergreen species.

The coastal hammocks of the southern part of the state contain the highest percentage of tropical hardwoods. Evergreen oaks grow with gumbo-limbo, mastic, strangler figs, and a variety of tropical understory plants.


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