Student 3:

  1. Ag-lands provide hydrologic function to adjacent ecosystems by increasing land area for hydrological and water quality functions.
  2. Preserve, accrete, or cumulate organic soils.
  3. Create and enhance habitat for wildlife with ag landscape.

(the following paragraph refers to objective 3)

"Studies show that wildlife management objectives can best be accomplished on big parcels of land or preserves (Dr. Paul Gray, 1999, personal communication).  This satisfies the space requirements of a greater variety of food web members thereby promoting biodiversity of plant and animal communities.   Florida's fastest growing component of the tourism industry is ecotourism (FLA USA, eco/heritage subcommittee meeting, 7/27/98).  Repeatedly, the most widely and abundantly attended workshops at ecotourism conferences, are those that focus on watchable wildlife (DeFreese, 1999, personal communication).  Keeping in mind the ecotourism's economic potential of well-managed, biodiverse ag-land, it is wise to employ wildlife management objectives into ag-land best management practices (BMP's).  Agriculture has a history of economic fluctuation.  Such fluctuations are experiences by the citrus and cattle industries.  Many of Florida's large parcel land use owner/managers have realized the importance of utilizing land use plans that have backup strategies or a plan B ready for the economic low times (Mike Adams, 1998, personal communication).   Maintaining our aglands as naturally as possible to maintain wildlife populations is allowing the REAL Florida to stay alive and available for showcasing to visitors (tourists) as such a plan B-BMP for agland managers.  In a sense, integration of management strategies, using aglands as natural habitat buffer areas and vice versa, is incorporating Nature's concept of homeostasis; integrated functions that check and balance each other to maintain internal ecosystem stability."