Pine rockland is a globally imperiled community that contains a number of threatened and endangered plant species unique to southeastern Florida. The three acre pine rockland located on the northwestern corner of Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB) had become invaded with exotic invasive species, including Australian pine and Burma reed. The project originally involved performing a baseline assessment before and after exotic removal, preparing a Baseline Assessment Report and a Restoration and Management Plan for the site. Smart-Sciences is then conducted the Year One Pine Rockland Monitoring and on-going maintenance.
Smart-Sciences’ staff performed a baseline assessment which included identifying and mapping key pine rockland indicator species; Federal, State and County listed species; and exotic invasive species. Geographic Information System (GIS) maps compatible with HARB Geobase were produced showing distribution and density of exotics and locations of key indicator and listed species. Photo documentation of listed plant species and key indicator species, as well as overall site conditions, was also collected. Smart-Sciences’ staff supervised the exotic removal and follow-up maintenance activities on the site and performed a reassessment approximately six months after the exotic removal activities. This information was compiled into a Baseline Assessment Report. Based on the above assessments and source data regarding pine rockland habitat in general and the HARB site specifically, a Pine Rockland Restoration and Management Plan was prepared including the following: exotic species removal and maintenance protocols; potential for reintroduction of key indicator and listed species; management, maintenance and protection recommendations, and long-term management and monitoring protocols.
Smart-Sciences is currently conducting the Annual Monitoring of the pine rockland, which has shown great success in native recruitment and elimination of exotics. We have also partnered with Fairchild Tropical Gardens to provide field assistance and guidance on long term management, butterfly attractant plants and exotic removal maintenance activities.