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  • Longleaf pine habitats rely on fire to naturally reduce dense shrub growth and provide the right conditions for animals and plants adapted to this periodic event.
  • Gopher tortoises, especially hatchlings, need to be able to move easily from place to place. Fire makes this possible and also helps plants to sprout, providing quality food sources.
  • Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia grandifolia) is a rare plant that grows in moist, deciduous woods.
  • The bearded grass pink orchid (Calopogon barbatus) is found in pine flatwoods that were burned in the previous winter.
  • Fire plays a critical role in maintaining the open, park-like characteristic of mature longleaf pine woodlands where the endangered black pine snake lives.
  • The small yellow candyroot (Polygala nana) grows well in moist soil within open pines that are maintained by prescribed fire.
  • Low-growing native plants such as the gopher apple are adapted to fire, as it removes larger plants that could provide too much shade for the gopher apple to grow.
  • Without fire, the marsh rose gentian (Sabatia dodecandra) wouldn't survive because of the shade of larger, woody plants.
  • More than 300 species of animals and insects use the threatened gopher tortoise's burrows for food or shelter. 
  • Most bog plants don't do well in shade, and are dependent upon fire to keep the area where they grow open and sunny.
  • The unique shape of the carnivorous pitcher plant traps insects, where they dissolve in fluid. Fire helps carnivorous plants by removing other plants competing for the same space.
  • The pitcher plant's yellow flower. Did you know that the 'pitcher' is actually a modified leaf?
  • The tiny Camp Shelby burrowing crayfish is found only at Camp Shelby within pitcher plant wetlands.
  • Development and lack of fire have caused the critically endangered dusky gopher frog to decline in numbers.
  • The delicate yellow fringed orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) benefits from fire as it decreases competition from other plants in moist, open acidic bogs.
  • Like other carnivorous plants, sundews are adapted to obtain nutrients from insects rather than soil. Sundews trap insects by a sticky substance on its leaves.
  • Learn more about Fire as a Conservation Method.
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