Upland Pine, Blackwater River State Forest. Photo by Gary Knight

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Map of the Month: Historical Natural Communities of the Apalachicola National Forest

Effective land management for conservation requires an understanding of what the property to be managed was like before any changes due to human activities like logging, agriculture, wetland drainage, road building, or disruption of natural wildfires.  FNAI Biologists have mapped the historical vegetation on 2,414,045 acres of Conservation Lands in Florida to help inform land management.  This map of historical natural communities on the Apalachicola National Forest is based on 1937, 1942, 1952, and present day aerial photography, LiDAR elevation data, soils maps, hundreds of ground-truthed GPS points, and locations of rare species occurrences.  This map served as the basis for an Ecological Condition Model of the Apalachicola National Forest, developed by the US Forest Service.

FNAI contributes a variety of data and analyses to help inform conservation land management decisions.  Together with reference natural communities, historical vegetation maps help land managers set goals for restoration and management of conservation lands across the state.

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