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publications > paper > PP 1011 > ecosystems > freshwater and terrestrial > cypress forests
Ecosystems of south Florida
Freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems
In the Big Cypress Swamp area, forests include open areas of small cypress trees and a scattered sparse growth of herbaceous plants, such as sawgrass or beakrushes, growing on a thin layer of marl soil or sand over limestone. Cypress domes and strands of larger trees grow over much of the forest. Domes are circular or egg-shaped features that are dome shaped in profile on the horizon. Strands are elongate areas of large trees that follow depressions. Shrubs and small swamp trees such as wax myrtle, coco plum, and pond-apple are common understory species within the domes and strands.
Large cypress trees were present in the strands in the early 1900's, but logging has since removed most of them. However, one major area of large virgin cypress remains at Corkscrew Swamp where the National Audubon Society maintains a sanctuary. Some trees there tower 39 m (130 ft) and have a girth of 7.5 m (25 ft).
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:04 PM (KP)
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