Who Loves Fire?

Learn more about plants and animals that depend on it to survive.

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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