A Vascular Flora of the Eckerd College Palm Hammock Nature Area: A Dredge and Fill Site in Pinellas County, Florida

Published:

Sept 2015

Author

Deborah R. Hilbert

Additional Authors

Gretchen M. Ionta

ABSTRACT A study of the vascular plants of the Palm Hammock Nature Area, a designated natural area on the west side of the Eckerd College campus in Pinellas County, Florida, was carried out between January 2012 and January 2013. The site is situated entirely on dredged fill soil, rendering it an intriguing site on which to study natural succession. This floristic inventory provides baseline data on the species composition at the site for use in future studies of the Palm Hammock and other forested dredge and fill sites. A total of 157 vascular species were collected from the 4.6 ha site, including 155 angiosperms. Of these, 99 species are native to North America, and 58 species are not native. Of the nonnative species, 20 are considered invasive. The most frequently represented families included Asteraceae (18), Fabaceae (18), Poaceae (14), and Cyperaceae (11). The Palm Hammock Nature Area, which comprises small patches of cabbage palm/oak hammock, cabbage palm stands, and grasslands similar to coastal savannas, shares characteristic species and composition with both maritime and mesic hammocks.

Keywords

Dredge and fill, Eckerd College, Florida, floristic inventory, palm hammock, Pinellas County, succession floristic inventory,