Miami-Dade County’s pine rocklands support 374 plant species. Thirty-one of these plants can only be found in South Florida, five are listed as federally endangered. Many different species live in these habitats, like the endangered indigo snake, the atala butterfly, foxes, raccoons and many different species of birds. The ecosystem benefits us with services such as fresh air, clean water, productive soils, food, medicines, and natural products. Pine rocklands exist on higher ground, which is less prone to flooding, so they tend to be developed first. Do to expansion the area of pine rocklands have decreased dramatically over the years. Now the area of the rocklands only covers about 2 % of their original land. Fragmenting habitats makes remaining plant populations more susceptible to disease and to extinction from hurricanes. In Miami-Dade County, these isolated patches of pine rockland plants are separated by buildings and roads. This makes it more difficult for birds, butterflies, mammals and the wind to disperse seeds and pollens necessary for plants to reproduce. Pine Rockland Research
Table and Graph Native Plant Taxa in Pine Rocklands 163 Tamiami Pineland Preserve 172 Navy Wells Pineland Preserve 260 Richmond tract in Miami-Dade County 374 Miami-Dade County Number of Species Place
Larva Pupa Adult The butterfly was discovered by a Cuban zoologist, Charles Felipe Felipe Poey y Aloy, he named it Atala because of “the Native American heroine of an 1801 French novel by Chateaubriand” (wikipedia.org). Another name for the Atala is Coontie Hairstreak. The Atala butterfly depends totally on the coontie, without it the Atala would be extinct. Before, the Atala was almost extinct due to the fact that almost all the coonties were also wiped out, but now both are coming slowly back. The bright colors of the adult Atala butterfly are thought to be “warning coloration”. Predators like lizards and bird that try to eat them, don’t find them tasteful so they know to stay away from brightly colored butterflies. They usually stay near a host plant therefore they live in small colonies. The female lies about 10-50 eggs on the leaves of the coontie. Atala Butterfly
Scale Drawing Key Scale 5 sq. in = 5 sq. ft. RED Plant Firebush GREEN Plant Coontie PURPLE Plant Elderberry ORANGE Plant Beautyberry BLUE Plant Blue Porterweed YELLOW Circle Stepping Stones RED Rectangles Benches PINK Square Indian Blanket
Plants Used Firebush Coontie Elderberry Beautyberry Blue Porterweed Indian Blanket
My Opinion I think that it’s very important to conserve our environment because after its gone we can’t bring it back. By making this garden at our school we’re giving the butterflies a place to lay their eggs and grow. Also we are bringing life to the school by adding all these beautiful plants. We used math for making a graph in our research papers. And because first we had to measure it to be able to draw it to scale. Also we had to make a budget for the plants we planned on using.