Highlands of the hammocks

Pinelands aren’t the only high ground in “town” …

Or as is the case here — the swamp.

Why some of the swamps tiny islands high ground is dominated by densely-vegetated groves called hardwoods hammocks while the larger upland tracts are sparse-covered pinelands cover instead is another mystery of the swamp intricate mosaic of plants.

Fire frequency is partly in play (the pines more regularly burn),

But so too is the hydroperiod of the lower lying wetlands that surrounds the higher ground. The tinier the island and the deeper (and longer) the swamp water that around it …

The less likely it seems that fire will find its way in to rewind its ecological clock back to zero.

When that happens the slash pines move in.

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