Pine Stands are able to encroach in marl prairie habitat if fire is
suppressed in these areas for periods greater than a decade. These stands are
composed of Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii) with relatively little understory.
In turn, these pine stands
are eventually maintained by fire since fire will burn out any understory plants that
will eventually compete with the pine species. If fire is suppressed for a period of two to three decades
pine stands will be replaced by hardwoods. Pine Stands naturally occur along the
Atlantic Coast Ridge which has a higher elevation than the rest of the Everglades.
This ridge is located along the Eastern portion of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow
Cape Sable seaside sparrow tend to avoid tree cover regardless of the tree species. These areas may harbor predators and thus represent unsuitable breeding or foraging habitat for the sparrow.