Monday, October 24, 2011

A Hydric Hammock

This photo was made yesterday in the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, as a group of us were about to paddle Sanders Creek from the Dixie Mainline bridge to the Gulf of Mexico. It shows what I am calling a hydric hammock. The uplands on both sides of Sanders Creek consist of swamp, with baldcypresses and hardwoods. Slightly lower in elevation, the creek bottoms support marsh punctuated by cabbage palms. The water in the creek is tidal and brackish. At this point, about four miles from the Gulf, smooth cordgrass, black needlerush, and sawgrass are found in close proximity. Respectively the three species are characteristic of salt marsh, brackish marsh, and fresh marsh, and they are separated here by slight differences in elevation. Blue crabs were abundant in the clear water of the creek.

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