Learn More: Plants Species

What does this mean?

The important features to note from this report are the total number of plants, the percentage of exotics, and the number of pest plants. Greater total numbers mean greater diversity and typically are indicative of healthier lakes. Relatively low percentages of exotics and low numbers of pest plants are also desirable. Also, some citizens and managers are interested in the specific types of plants found and these lists are provided.

Most surface waters of the state are classified as Class III, meaning that they are designated to support "recreation, propagation and maintenance of a healthy, well-balanced population of fish and wildlife." For this to be achieved, a healthy habitat in and around the waterbody is required. The presence of many exotic species may require greater future management efforts to control their spread and prevent them from restricting the designated uses of the waterbody. Of these exotics, the ones listed as Category I or II by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council are considered the most ecologically harmful.

Use the reports here and compare them against others in your watershed or lake region for some general comparison. Are there great differences in ecology?

How are the data collected? (Methods)

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection conducts aquatic plant surveys on large public waterbodies (lakes and streams). Their results (annually) describe the presence or absence of major invasive-exotic species and occasionally (every 5 years), a complete inventory including the area covered by specific nuisance plants. These inventories document the variety of species present at a given sites in and around the waterbodies.


Total Number of Plants — The number of unique species from all stations

Percentage of Exotics — The number of unique exotic species from all stations / total number of plants * 100

Number of Pest Plants — The total number of EPPC-listed plants from all stations

Caveats and Limitations

The data provided here are estimated measurements representing a snapshot of biological communities and are subject to change dramatically over time. These results are intended for general monitoring purposes only. Detailed studies should be conducted before management actions are taken.

Additional Information