Ecosystems in the Everglades: Part 3 

ecosystemsIn a blog post last month, we discussed two different ecosystems in the Everglades: pinelands and hardwood hammock. Those are just two of many of the ecosystems within the Everglades.  

Each ecosystem looks and acts different and helps the circle of life. On an airboat tour with Captain Mitch, you will pass by many of the Everglades’ ecosystems. For this blog post, we wanted to share some information with you on two more ecosystems in the Everglades.  

Freshwater sloughA freshwater slough is a low-lying area of land that channels water through the Everglades. They are marshy rivers. They are deep and maintain flooded throughout the year. They move about 100 feet per day. The Everglades has two sloughs: The Shark River Slough known as the “River of Grass” which is the larger one, and the smaller and narrower Tayor Slough. Both sloughs discharge into Florida Bay. There are other sloughs that flow through to western Florida Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands.  

Freshwater marl prairieFreshwater marl prairies are short-hydroperiod marshes and have a diverse low-growing vegetation in them. The marl allows slow seepage of the water but not rapid drainage. They look like freshwater sloughs, but the water is not as deep. There are large areas of them bordering the deeper sloughs of the Everglades. These marl prairies are created by thin, calcitic soil that has accumulated over limestone bedrock 

As you can see, there’s lots of moving parts that make these ecosystems thrive, so it’s important to protect and care for all these different ecosystems as they all play a critical role in the lifecycles of endless plant, animal, and insect species.  

Next week, we will discuss about the following ecosystems:  cypress and marine and estuarine.  

Want to see a few different ecosystems up close? 

Come on down and enjoy a fun trip out on the water exploring the Everglades on an airboat tour that leaves from Everglades City. Captain Mitch’s Everglades Private Airboat Tours  is open 7 days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).  

To book an airboat trip in the Everglades, call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 239-695-3377 or click Everglades airboat tour page.