University of Florida Conservation Area Land Management Plan
Swine Unit Woods
Swine Unit Woods is a 7.7-acre Conservation Area adjacent to IFAS's Swine Unit, south of Archer
Road and east of SW 23rd Terrace. This formerly pine dominated system was heavily impacted by
pine beetle infestation in 2003, resulting is the loss of much of the pine canopy. As a result of this
loss of canopy, invasive non-native plants have taken over much of the site.
The property was changed to Conservation in the Campus Master Plan 2000-2010 from its previous
classification as Passive Recreation. According to that edition of Master Plan, the area was
recommended for preservation due to its large size, proximity to Bivens Arm and potential for wildlife
habitat. It also noted that restoration of this area would require the removal and maintenance of
nuisance vegetative species.
Natural Areas Inventory
According to watershed analysis work completed by Causseaux and Ellington, Swine Unit conservation
area is in a depression basin. Water leaving the Conservation Area exits via an intermittent drainage
canal that in turn drains into a sinkhole pond adjacent to SW 23rd Terrace (Bee-Pollen Unit / Solar Park
Pond). If water levels rise sufficiently within the sink /pond, it appears that water will then route to
Bivens Arm Lake through another canal (although this appears to happen very infrequently).
A forested wetland covers most of the Conservation Area. This wetland area was not identified in the
Master Plan 2000 2010 and thus was not included as Conservation. However, the Conservation
Study Committee added this wetland into the conservation boundary in the spring of 2005.
Intermittent stream / canal adjacent to the Swine Unit.
Swine Unit Woods was characterized as a low pine flatwoods of slash and longleaf pine in the 2000-
2010 Master Plan when it was placed in Conservation, since then the pines have been logged due to
pine beetle infestation. The overstory is dominated by slash and longleaf pine with a fairly dense
understory of wax myrtle, saw palmetto, gallberry and wire grass.
Plant species typically found in pine flatwoods include longleaf pine, slash pine, wire grass, swa
palmetto, gallery, St. john-wort, dwarf huckleberry, fetterbush, dwarf wax myrtle, stagger bush,
blueberry, gopher apple, tar flower, bog buttons, blackroot, false foxglove, white-topped aster,
yellow-eyed grass, and cutthroat grass
Invasive Non-Native Plant Species
University personnel have documented the following list on site: air potato, cogon grass, chinaberry,
golden raintree, and wild taro.
Typical animals of Mesic Flatwoods, but not identified on site, include: oak toad, little grass frog,
narrowmouth toad, black racer, red rat snake, southeastern kestrel, brown-headed nuthatch, pine
warbler, Bachman's sparrow, cotton rat, cotton mouse, raccoon, gray fox, bobcat, and white-tailed
Invasive Plants in the understory
Mesic Flatwoods occur on relatively flat, moderately to poorly drained terrain. The soils typically
consist of 1-3 feet of acidic sands generally overlying an organic hardpan or clayey subsoil. The
hardpan substantially reduces the percolation of water below and above its surface. During the rainy
seasons, water frequently stands on the hardpan's surface and briefly inundates much of the
flatwoods; while during the drier seasons, ground water is unobtainable for many plants whose roots
fail to penetrate the hardpan. Thus, many plants are under the stress of water saturation during the
wet seasons and under the stress of dehydration during the dry seasons (FNAI 1990).
The following soil information for on-site soils was gathered from the Soil Survey of Alachua
Wauchula Sand is a poorly drained soil commonly associated with flatwoods. Slopes are nearly
smooth and range from 0 to 2%. This soil is in small and large, irregularly shaped or meandering
areas that range from 20 to 800 acres. Typically, the surface layer is sand about 8 inches thick. The
upper 5 inches is black and the lower 3 inches is dark gray
Urban Land Wauchula Complex
This complex of Wauchula Sand in an urban context consists of poorly drained, nearly level soils
and urban land. Slopes range from 0 to 2 percent. Typically, the surface layer of Wauchula soils is
black to dark gray sand about 8 inches thick. In the Wauchula soils, the water table is within 10
inches of the surface for about 1 to 3 months during most years. Natural fertility and organic matter
contents are low. Permeability of the sandy surface and subsurface layers is rapid.
Cultural and Passive Recreational Resources
Currently, Swine Unit Woods does not have any public access or associated amenities and due to its
small size and distance from the main campus probably does warrant these types of efforts in the
near future. There are no known archeological or historic sites within the Park.
Due to relatively remote location Swine Unit Woods serves primarily as a small Nature Preserve
area with limited public access. This area also serves as a buffer between the University's research
facilities and neighboring properties. The primary management activities that need to be addressed
are dealing with the invasive non-native plant species and restoration planting of native trees, due to
the removal of pine beetle affected trees. Additionally, boundary markers need to be placed in order
to alert area residence to the exact boundaries of the Conservation Area.
Maps on the following pages:
1. Aerial Photo
2. Water Resources
3. Natural Communities
NATL East (Surge Wetland)
L .- Conservation Area
.--.. Master Plan Boundary
0 45 90
I .Facilities, Planning
This map is intended for planning purposes only.
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