Florida’s New Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Geodatabase
A U.S. Forest Service competitive resource allocation grant helped fund a cooperative project between and the Florida Forest Service and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory.
The Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Geodatabase (LPEGDB) project will serve as the central repository for data on the distribution and ecological condition of longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida. The spatial database includes data provided by many partner agencies and organizations as well as new field assessment data collected for this project.
Longleaf pine ecosystems are among the most diverse in North America, supporting a large array of herbs and grasses, as well as rare animal species such as red-cockaded woodpeckers and gopher tortoises. The grant will help organizations and agencies take steps to prevent further loss, improve what’s left, and restore the longleaf pine ecosystem. The LPEGDB contributes to this effort by providing detailed, baseline data on the location and current ecological condition of remaining longleaf pine sites in Florida.
According to America’s Longleaf 2013 Range-Wide Accomplishment Report, longleaf pine dominant ecosystems total 4.28 million acres in the U.S. This project confirmed the location of 2.2 million acres of longleaf pine ecosystems in Florida, indicating that Florida is home to over 51 percent of all known longleaf pine forests.
Restoration efforts require cooperation between state and federal partners. The Forest Service Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) unit works closely with Florida and other state partners to collect, analyze, and report data pertinent to sustaining forest land.
Ultimately, LPEGDB will provide guidance on where and how to accomplish goals for conservation, restoration, and management of longleaf pine ecosystems. As funding allows, the Florida Forest Service and Florida Natural Areas Inventory will continue to enhance, improve, and update the LPEGDB, along with related tools and maps.
Read more at the Florida Forest Service website.