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FSU Biological Reserve

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Habitats of the FSU Biological Reserve

There are five types of habitats that have been established in the Biological Reserve in addition to the natural habitats that already exist there.

The Hardwood Forest Habitat

The Hardwood Forest Habitat is being developed to resemble a mixed mesophytic forest, which can be found on moist, fertile soils in some parts of the mountains of the southeastern states. The Hardwood Forest Habitat contains more than 40 species of trees that are native to eastern North America, and almost all of them lose their leaves in the fall. Some of the trees that can be found in this part of the Biological Reserve are American Elm (Ulmus americana), Winged Elm (Ulmus alata), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and  Silverbell (Halesia tetraptera).

Many small plants in hardwood forests bloom early in the year before the leaves of the trees have fully developed and while a lot of light can still reach the forest floor. Some of the small plants in the Hardwood Forest Habitat that bloom in late winter or early spring are Trout Lily (Erythronium umbilicatum), Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), and Star Chickweed (Stellaria pubera). 

The Savannah

The Savannah is being developed to resemble a wet Longleaf Pine savannah like those that can be at some places on the coastal plain of the Carolinas. Some of the plants that can be found in the Savannah are Pink Sundew (Drosera capillaris), Round-leaved Thoroughwort (Eupatorium rotundifolium), and Maryland Meadow Beauty (Rhexia mariana).

The Mountain Valley

The Mountain Valley is being developed to resemble forests that can be found in low-elevation valleys in the southern Appalachian Mountains.  Some of plants that can be found in the Mountain Valley are Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis),  Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum).

The Southern Forest

The Southern Forest is an area that is being developed to resemble southern mixed hardwood forest, a type of forest that can be found in a few places on the coastal plain of the southeastern United States.  Some of the plants in the Southern Forest are Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Water Oak (Quercus nigra), and Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor).

The Sandhills Habitat

The Sandhills Habitat is being developed to resemble a Longleaf Pine forest like those that can be found in the Sandhills Region of the Carolinas. Sandy, dry, infertile soils are characteristic of the Sandhills Region.  Most of the large trees in the Sandhills Habitat are Loblolly Pines (Pinus taeda) but there are also some young Longleaf Pines (Pinus palustris) there. The Sandhills Habitat contains many plants that bloom in the summer and the fall. Some of the plants that can be found in the Sandhills Habitat are Carolina Wiregrass (Aristida stricta), Curlyleaf Yucca (Yucca filamentosa), Grass-leaved Golden Aster (Pityopsis graminifolia) and Sandhill Chaffseed (Carphephorus bellidifolius)

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