Central Florida checking in

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addy
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:16 pm

Central Florida checking in

Post by addy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:14 pm

Hello all! I'm a native Florida son of a biologist and searching for superlatives in nature is a hobby of mine.

Recently I have been systematically exploring a remarkable site in eastern Orange County Florida called the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management area. It contains an estimated 900 acres of old growth cypress-tupelo floodplain swamp, an unknown acreage of old growth hydric hammock, mesic flatwoods and several likely untouched dome swamps. Most of it is concentrated in and around the central creek, Jim Creek. There are also scattered virgin stands along the northern creek, Tosohatchee Creek, which has been logged erratically for Cypress & Red Cedar (as have several other areas in the Tosohatchee) but none by the forest leveling overhead skid method that leveled most of lowland Florida. The Tosohatchee also is little represented in the literature & research, which is odd considering its acreage of old growth rivals similar sites like Corkscrew Sanctuary.

Also not sure if Dr. David Stahle's recently kicked off Ancient Bald Cypress Consortium project is known here yet:

https://cypress.uark.edu/

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Central Florida checking in

Post by Bart Bouricius » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:26 am

Great to have you aboard. Between the square miles of lawns and big box stores in Florida, there are certainly some fascinating natural areas, and it looks like you have found a good one to focus on. I am hoping you can provide us with some tree measurements, and images of the trees and other native organisms in this area.

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Central Florida checking in

Post by Bart Bouricius » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:29 am

Sorry Addy,

I just realized you joined back in February, but I'm still looking forward to your posts.

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addy
Posts: 28
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Re: Central Florida checking in

Post by addy » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:32 pm

Thanks! Ya it was Feb but I hadn't posted until this. I was surprised to find no mention of the Tosohatchee WMA here, it contains a large area of the most undisturbed forests I've seen. I'm racking up tree after tree to submit to the Florida champion tree register, and that's with their 80% of current champion points cutoff. Found a 5.2' DBH Nyssa biflora the other month than demolishes the current Florida champion.

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Bart Bouricius
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Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:41 am

Re: Central Florida checking in

Post by Bart Bouricius » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:48 am

Good to hear,

Are there any native figs there, or are they all further south, or in different habitats? 3 large ficus species native to Florida are Ficus Americana, F. citrifolia, and F. Auria.

Joe

Re: Central Florida checking in

Post by Joe » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:41 am

Bart Bouricius wrote:Great to have you aboard. Between the square miles of lawns and big box stores in Florida, there are certainly some fascinating natural areas, and it looks like you have found a good one to focus on. I am hoping you can provide us with some tree measurements, and images of the trees and other native organisms in this area.
Disney World is rather fascinating too! I haven't been there since shortly after it opened- but I do recall laughing so hard on those rides that I thought I broke some ribs. (especially the haunted house).

Ayup, back in the good old days.
Joe

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addy
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:16 pm

Re: Central Florida checking in

Post by addy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:54 pm

Bart Bouricius wrote:Good to hear,

Are there any native figs there, or are they all further south, or in different habitats? 3 large ficus species native to Florida are Ficus Americana, F. citrifolia, and F. Auria.
Auria ranges into central Florida according to USF's Institute for Systematic Botany (http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/), but most are further south. I've yet to run into any in Central Florida. There is a holly species, Ilex cassine, which when forced to twist and turn resembles some ficus species. I've mistaken them for ficus species on occasion. Their morphology is usually more straight though, only getting really fantastic in deep and old swamps. I also once found an individual with a gall the size of a basketball on its trunk.

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