Natural Conditions

As mentioned in the introduction, the natural conditions of the Everglades are the result of complex interactions among natural processes such as hydrology, geology and biology. These processes as they occur in south Florida, are somewhat unique and provide interesting subjects for examination. The hydrology of the region consists of a vast watershed, the Kissimmee River Lake Okeechobee Everglades (KLOE) watershed, covering the 10,890 square mile area on the Florida peninsula. The very young geology of the region consists of Pleistocene limestone beds and ridges, overlain by the thick Everglades peat that has developed over the last 5,000 years. We will see that localized solutions in the underlying bedrock are the explanation for many of the differences observed among plant communities of this ecosystem. Finally, the biology of the region is divided into three subsets: distribution of plants, animals and endangered species.

To learn about these three processes and how they affect the Everglades ecosystem, click on any one of the three headings above.

[Introduction][Natural Conditions][Anthropogenic Effects]