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Fire Ecology, 2013
Volume 9, Issue 1

Successional and Transitional Models of Natural South Florida, USA, Plant Communities
Authors: Michael J. Duever and Richard E. Roberts
Pages: 110-123
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0901110

We developed a conceptual successional model for South Florida that describes relationships among major natural plant communities in terms of the region’s two major environmental processes, hydrology and fire regime. We next developed several conceptual transitional models that provide more detail on the characteristics of fire regimes that determine successional and disturbance transitions between communities. Transitions between communities in the models were based largely upon personal field experience, aerial photography, and limited data, such as tree ages and organic soil 14C dates. We used our best professional judgment to fill information gaps. Major assumptions in the models were the ready availability of seeds, a long-term perspective for development of communities, and differences in rates of change across a transition depending on direction of change. The models will assist land managers to understand long-term implications of their management decisions.

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