The University of West Florida Campus Ecosystem Study

The campus of the University of West Florida was designed in 1963 by John Jarvis to maintain numerous ecological habitats, removing a minimum number of trees during construction. Previous work has examined the campus as a unique urban interface (Gilliam et al. 2020).
Among these ecological features are extensive stands of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) in natural areas that represent an ecological paradox-longleaf pine is a fire-maintained species (Gilliam and Platt 2006), but urban interfaces typically exclude fire. Images above depicts the following (1-r): a longleaf stand with frequent fire, an on-campus stand without fire, and an open matrix representing what much of the campus was like prior to construction.
The purpose of our research was to address the following questions: (1) what is the composition and structure of unburned longleaf stands of the two areas? (2) how does soil fertility vary between natural areas and change under fire exclusion? (3) what is the age structure of longleaf pine in each natural area and how does that compare to that of the main UWF campus?
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Abstract/Description: The campus of the University of West Florida was designed in 1963 by John Jarvis to maintain numerous ecological habitats, removing a minimum number of trees during construction. Previous work has examined the campus as a unique urban interface (Gilliam et al. 2020). Among these ecological features are extensive stands of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) in natural areas that represent an ecological paradox-longleaf pine is a fire-maintained species (Gilliam and Platt 2006), but urban interfaces typically exclude fire. Images above depicts the following (1-r): a longleaf stand with frequent fire, an on-campus stand without fire, and an open matrix representing what much of the campus was like prior to construction. The purpose of our research was to address the following questions: (1) what is the composition and structure of unburned longleaf stands of the two areas? (2) how does soil fertility vary between natural areas and change under fire exclusion? (3) what is the age structure of longleaf pine in each natural area and how does that compare to that of the main UWF campus?
Subject(s): chronic fire exclusion
Undergraduate Research
UWF Campus Ecosystem Study
Longleaf Pine