1018 Thomasville Road
Guide to the Natural Communities of Florida - 2010 Edition
The 2010 FNAI natural community classification groups natural communities based on a combination of landscape position, vegetation, and hydrology. The category is meant to be an intuitive grouping of similar natural communities that allows the user to apply a broader level name to an area when the community determination is ambiguous. In some cases, an intermediate group (ex. “Cypress/Tupelo”) is identified for further clarification. Variants (if any) are described within the community accounts. These variants are optional descriptions that are meant to convey further information about specific community occurrences. For example, a swamp found at the mouth of a river might be designated “floodplain swamp – freshwater tidal swamp variant.”
We would like to maintain a list of people who are downloading and using the 2010 Natural Community Guide. Please email Ann Johnson to add your name to our email list for future announcements/updates (optional - your email will not be distributed).
In 2007, with funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Division of State Lands, the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) began a process of updating the "Guide to the Natural Communities of Florida" (the Guide), first published in 1990 by FNAI and the then Florida Department of Natural Resources (now FDEP). Only the forty-five land-based communities (23 terrestrial and 20 palustrine communities, plus tidal marsh and tidal swamp in the marine category) were included in the current update, leaving the remaining aquatic communities to be updated at a later time. The purpose of the update was to clarify distinctions between communities by listing characteristic species and features distinguishing similar communities, as well as to add information for each community on variations throughout its range (with common variants noted specifically), range, natural processes, management, and references.
Changes include 1) minor changes to the classification itself, 2) a new organization for grouping the communities, and 3) the addition of a list of altered landcover types.
View crosswalk between 1990 and 2010 natural community guides (80k pdf document)
Habitats that have been severely impacted by humans and do not fit into FNAI’s Natural Community Classification are recognized using the altered landcover types. These are used to describe the most common non-natural habitats observed on conservation lands in Florida.
View list of altered landcover types (42k pdf document)
The 2010 Edition is now the official Natural Community Guide utilized by FNAI.
Suggested citation: Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). 2010. Guide to the natural communities of Florida: 2010 edition. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, FL.
Access the 1990 Guide
We owe a large debt of gratitude to Dr. O. Greg Brock, bureau chief of the Office of Environmental Services at FDEP, whose support and encouragement made this project possible. We would like to thank the following experts for their helpful comments on the individual accounts: Richard Abbott, Guy Anglin, Wilson Baker, Chris Bergh, Keith Bradley, Susan Carr, Linda Chafin, Pete Colverson, Anne Cox, Melanie Darst, Linda Duever, Mark Deyrup, Janice Dusquesnel, Kathy Ewel, Elise Gornish, Dennis Hardin, Richard Hilsenbeck, Jean Huffman, Michael Jenkins, Erik Johnson, Adam Kent, Kay Kirkman, Helen Light, Matt Love, Eric Menges, Tom Miller, Gil Nelson, Eliane Norman, Dan Pearson, Kevin Robertson, Anne Rudloe, Paul Schmalzer, Bob Simons, James Snyder, Bruce Sorrie, Walter Taylor, Walt Thompson, John Tobe, Greg Walker (and the biologists of the Florida Park Service), and Samuel Wright.