Native Species Spotlight
Pillar coral can be found in warm marine waters throughout the coral reef, rock, or sand substratum (underlying soil layer) of the Caribbean Sea, and the subtropical and tropical West Atlantic Ocean, ranging from the northern coast of South America (Colombia), north to southern Florida (Smith 1971, Veron 2000, Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).
As global climate change continues to affect the Earth, all coral faces the threat of bleaching. Bleaching occurs when the surrounding waters or the coral’s habitat is degraded enough by hotter–than–usual water temperatures to the point where their symbiotic zooxanthellae (protozoan) are expelled by the host, thereby causing loss of pigmentation to the colony. Global climate change causes an increase in the temperature of marine waters which is detrimental to the coral. Hurricanes also pose a threat as their intense storm conditions can cause damage to coral. This species also faces the threat of diseases like the white plague disease, a disease that involves the destruction of tissue by the marine bacteria, Aurantimonas coralicida. Other threats include damselfish predation, physical colony damage caused by anchors and boats, and bioerosion (erosion caused by organisms) by sponges.
The Florida Atlantic University Libraries serve as a Depository for documents published by Florida governmental agencies. The Florida Documents print collection can be found at the S.E. Wimberly Library in Boca Raton. The Florida Documents online collection can be accessed through the FAU catalog.
There are 174 award-winning Florida state parks, trails and historic sites.
Exploring our State Parks:
(photo: Florida Division of Recreation and Parks)
Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is one of a kind, offering an amazing glimpse into the underwater world. Renowned for being the country’s first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses an impressive 70 nautical square miles. While many visitors view the park’s colorful coral reefs and teeming marine life on a glass-bottom boat tour, one can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. Canoeing and kayaking through the park's waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas. Visitors can also enjoy walking on short trails through tropical hammocks, picnicking or swimming at the beach. The visitor center features several large saltwater aquariums filled with sea creatures, and nature videos are shown in its theater. Full-facility and youth/group campsites are available.
(source: Florida Division of Recreation and Parks)
The 2019 Regular Session ran from March 5-May 4. Find out what your Florida State Legislators worked on in Tallahassee:
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