Conservation Case Studies

Florida Ziziphus

Likely one could apply just about every scrap of data ever collected at Archbold to some conservation issue. Some data have obvious and direct impacts, but the relevance of other data may only become apparent years after particular projects are completed. Publications may remain in the scientific literature until some serendipitous event reveals a new usefulness. This adds importance to long-term data archival and management. Whether it is a newly described rare insect deposited in the arthropod collection, or a landscape scale experimental protocol to assess the impacts of fire on a particular ecosystem response, all are part of the great mass of information marshaled by scientists at Archbold Biological Station and used to inform the conservation and management of the Florida scrub and surrounding environs. Below are five Conservation Case Studies which illustrate a range of research projects with some direct conservation impacts.

  1. Florida Ziziphus Research and Conservation has focused on rescuing this highly endangered plant from the brink of extinction.
  2. The Florida Black Bear Study has been critical in raising awareness of the large scale movements of Black Bears regionally and prompted a revision of the Highlands County Long-range Transportation Plan to reduce likely impacts of new roads on bear populations..
  3. Should Mechanical Treatments of Florida Scrub be used as Fire Surrogates to Manage Florida’s Uplands? Addresses mechanical treatments such as roller-chopping, mowing, chain-sawing, and logging,and herbicide application, that are increasingly used to manage fire-maintained Florida ecosystems. The recommendation is that whenever feasible mechanical and herbicide should be used as pretreatments for fire rather than as fire surrogates.
  4. Population genetics of Florida scrub jays are revealing important distinctions among populations in different patches of scrub habitat.
  5. The Lake Wales Ridge Scrub Arthropod Survey is determining the extent to which the acquisition of conservation lands along the Lake Wales Ridge has protected the suite of nearly 90 arthropods known to be endemic to the scrub habitats of the Ridge.