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Established as a National Park in 1980, Biscayne National Park (BISC) comprises an area of nearly 700 km2 , of which most is under water. The terrestrial portions of BISC include a coastal strip on the south Florida mainland and a set of Key Largo limestone barrier islands which parallel the mainland several kilometers offshore and define the eastern rim of Biscayne Bay. The upland vegetation component of BISC is embedded within an extensive coastal wetland network, including an archipelago of 42 mangrove-dominated islands with extensive areas of tropical hardwood forests or hammocks. Several databases and vegetation maps describe these terrestrial communities. However, these sources are, for the most part, outdated, incomplete, incompatible, or/and inaccurate. For example, the current, Welch et al. (1999), vegetation map of BISC is nearly 10 years old and represents the conditions of Biscayne National Park shortly after Hurricane Andrew (August 24, 1992). As a result, a new terrestrial vegetation map was commissioned by The National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program South Florida / Caribbean Network.


A report from the South Florida Terrestrial Ecosystems Lab (SOFTEL).



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