South Florida Flora and Ecosystems

Reaction Paper 1

Due 5/18/99

The following excerpt can be found in your text on pages 6 and 7. You will be asked to compose a reaction to the following passage assuming the role of one of the following individuals:

Your reaction should not exceed one single-spaced typed page. Give support for the reactions as an individual listed above would have given them. Do not give your own viewpoint. The goal of this exercise is to gain experience in considering the frame of reference of other people.


"Citrus cultivation is constrained by frost to the north and the absence of deep sandy soils to the east, west, and south. Citrus experts seem determined to alter soils through drainage and the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The pre-citrus ridge was covered with two main kinds of plant communities, the most extensive one a mixture of long leaf pine, turkey oak, and wiregrass. We do not know the ecological cost of losing that longleaf pine community; it might have been no more severe than would be expected anywhere else from such extensive deforestation. Intermixed with the long leaf pine stands were patches of scrub, the oldest kind of plant community unique to Florida. The loss of these pockets of endemism was quite another matter. Surely some species found nowhere else on earth succumbed to the land-clearing operations of the 1800s and early 1900s."