Common Habitats in Florida


Located along the coastline, this habitat is dominated by communities adapted to life along the sea where wind and salt spray shape the environment.

Marine and Esturaine

These ecosystems occur along coastlines and include subtidal, intertidal, and supratidal zones.

Estuarine communities may temporarily exhibit freshwater conditions during periods of heavy rainfall or upland runoff or marine conditions when rainfall and upland runoff are low, but generally are areas within which seawater is significantly diluted with freshwater inflow from the land. Marine habitats are those areas without significant freshwater inflow. Common marine and estuarine wetlands are:


These ecosystems are characterized by aquatic ecosystems containing freshwater. Freshwater habitats come in many different forms in Florida. Common freshwater habitats are:
  • Rivers and Streams
  • Ponds and Lakes
  • Non-Forested and Forested Wetlands

These freshwater habitat types can be broken down even further into many sub-types. More information and photo examples of these habitat types and sub-types can be found on the Florida Natural Areas Inventory.


This is an ecosystem whose flora is characterized by a large number of trees. Forests come in many different forms in Florida. Common forest types are:
  • Hardwood Forested Uplands
  • High Pine
  • Pine Flatwoods

These forest types can be broken down even further into many sub-types. More information and photo examples of these forest types and sub-types can be found on the catalog of UF Forest Ecosystems and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory.


Prairies are treeless, open grasslands, many of which are seasonally inundated with water. These prairies contain communities of low shrubs and grasses occupying vast, level expanses in three major areas north and west of Lake Okeechobee in south-central Florida. Common prairie species in Florida are saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), dwarf live oak (Quercus minima), dwarf wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera var. pumila), and dwarf huckleberry (Gaylussacia dumosa; Carr 2007).

Scrub and Sandhill

These are dry, sandy habitats found away from Florida's coastline.

Scrub is a community composed of evergreen shrubs, with or without a canopy of pines, and is found on dry, infertile, sandy ridges. These are Florida's desert and possess well-drained, loose “sugar sand”. Common scrub species are shrubby oaks like Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides) and sand pine (Pinus clausa).

Sandhill is characterized by widely spaced pine trees with a sparse midstory of deciduous oaks and a moderate to dense groundcover of grasses, herbs, and low shrubs. Sandhill occurs on the rolling topography and deep sands of the Southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain. Indicator species of sandhill habitats are longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), turkey oak (Quercus laevis), and wiregrass (Aristida stricta var. beyrichiana).


Primarily absent of any natural habitats and are often dominated by manmade habitats (such as manmade planters).


A location that was impacted by human activity in the past, but may be in a state of remission. Natural succession in these locations are interrupted regularly or frequently. Disturbed habitats around USF include roadsides and vacant lots.

More Information

More information on the habitats of Florida can be found on the Florida Natural Areas Inventory: Note that many of the descriptions here come from Florida Natural Areas Inventory.

Note that this is not a full list of the many habitats found in Florida, but is instead an introduction to common habitats you may encounter.

Please keep in mind that a growth form is not the same as a habitat. A lichen may be epiphytic and grow on the side of a tree, however, for this project the tree is not considered its habitat. To determine the habitat, observe the other organisms that dominate the community in which you found the organism.

由使用者 campbell29 campbell292023年11月28日 21:35 所貼文