Natural History

wetland

The southeast United States is home to many ecosystems, which are natural communities of plants and animals. In our past, lands have been used for agriculture and timber production. More recently, though, efforts are underway to restore our natural landscapes. For example, many land managers are prescribing fire to pine forests because fire is an important process that keeps these forests healthy. In fact, fire maintains several different types of natural communities in the Southeast. Learn more about fire ecology.

Ecosystems in the Southeast include hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, and wetlands. Each of these communities consists of its own array of plants, animals, and natural landscape features.  Learn more about some of the more common ecosystems found in the Southeast.

One of the ways to preserve ecosystems and conservation resources is to set up a conservation easement on private property.  A conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently protects its conservation values, and provides assurance that the land will be managed according to the wishes of the original landowner.  Learn more about the benefits of conservation easements.