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Biotic environment of Florida

Florida was once home to a very diverse array of wildlife. Bobcats were once very prominent in Florida, but land development, drained marshland, and deforestation are pushing this species of lynx into more northern areas. Florida also has many species of armadillo, opossum, foxes and birds like the American eagle and osprey, but are also being forced from their natural environments and into more urban areas, contributing to high percentages of roadkill. The Wildlife Foundation of Florida acts to gain collaboration of the public in order to protect and conserve all types of wildlife from land and air to water.
The insect population of Florida is also unique. The Gulf fritillary is a butterfly native to Florida grasslands. One such area is Payne's Prairie in Gainesville, Florida. Other Florida native insects include various species of mites including Florida termites and many types of ants, like the fire ant.
Upland hardwoods Upland hardwoods are often found in patches, surrounded by flatwoods and sandhills. Many species of trees prefer these types of ecosystems so there isn't a dominant species. Many Florida State Parks are located in these types of ecosystems.
Bottomland hardwoods Bottomland hardwoods are very low, wet areas that are located within close proximity to lakes, rivers, and sinkholes, making them prone to flooding. This environment propels the growth of deciduous trees that grow in layers with shrubs and herbaceous plants and are under constant change.
Sandhills Sandhills are very dry, with sandy soils so it is rare that these ecosystems ever flood. Because of this sort of climate, fire often changes the landscape so that they are predominantly grass and trees with no shrubbery.
Scrub Scrub land is extremely low in nutrients because of its sandy soil caused by frequent fires. Most often, scrubs consist of open pinelands with various oaks, shrubs, and palmetto. These plants are called xerophytic because they grow well in dry climates and have roots close to the surface to catch what little nutrients they can.
Flatwoods Pine flatwoods are very low, flat, sandy lands that are subject to fires during some parts of the year, but may be flooded for months due to seasonal rainfall. Pine needles contribute to a nutrient rich soil so plant growth is often rapid, allowing farmers to feed their livestock.
Tropical hammocks Tropical hammocks include many broad-leaved evergreens. These forests are restricted to South Florida because of hard freezes in the North. These areas are often used for land development because of their well-drained soils.