Archbold Biological Station
Archbold Biological Station (ABS)
was founded in 1941 by Richard Archbold, who lived at the Station and played
an active role in its operation until his death in August, 1976.
It is supported by Archbold Expeditions, a non-profit biological research
organization established by Mr. Archbold, and is an affiliate of the American
Museum of Natural History. The 2024 ha property serves as an important
preserve for the highlands habitats of southern Florida and an invaluable
resource for staff and visiting scientists.
The Station is located on the Lake Wales Ridge about 11 km from its
southern terminus. Elevations on the main property range from 35 to 65
m. The Ridge is a more elevated portion of a general upland area (the Central
Highlands) that extends down the center of the peninsula from northern
Florida. All available evidence indicates that marine influences at times
of higher sea levels played an important role in the formation of the Ridge.
One major former shoreline, the Okefenokee, at about 46 m above present
sea level, is found on the main Station property. All major terrestrial
habitats of the Ridge are found at ABS. These are predominately xeric shrublands
and woodlands dominated by shrubby oaks, pines and hickory, but also include
mesic flatwoods, baytree forests (bayheads) and swales. Further diversity
is provided by small areas of ruderal habitats. Aquatic habitats on the
main property include 90-acre Lake Annie, the southernmost lake of the
LWR, a small sink hole pond, hundreds of seasonal ponds and several ditches.
ABS also owns 3 small satellite tracts on nearby lakes that provide aquatic
habitats absent from the main property.
The primary mission of the Station is to foster research. A resident staff
of four research biologists, several post doctoral associates and four
research associates have approximately 75 active research projects. These
emphasize the ecology and evolutionary biology of organisms native to southern
Florida, especially the highlands. About 40 visiting scientists per year
use the Station's facilities. Their studies cover the entire spectrum of
modern biology, including behavior, physiology, genetics, anatomy, embryology,
biochemistry, ecology, and systematics. Lengths of visits vary from a brief
period of a day or two to several months or longer. Many workers return
year after year for continuing studies. About 850 scientific papers and
books have been based on work conducted at the Station. INTEGRATED LAND
MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH Fire is a major ecological factor in most of Florida
and many upland habitats of ABS are adapted to frequent burning. Therefore,
fire is a key component of both research and land management at the Station.
Natural and prescribed fire are mapped in detail using GIS technology.
A detailed 30-year record of fire history, plus ample opportunity to prescribe
and conduct research burns, provides one of the finest research sites for
fire ecologists anywhere in the United States.
A method of evaluating the relative isolation of red-cockaded woodpecker clusters.
(1997 SCGIS paper, Leslie K. Backus*, Reed Bowman, D. L. Leonard and Allison Mains, Archbold Biological
Station, Lake Placid, Florida 33852.)
EFFECTS OF GEOGRAPHY ON GENETIC VARIATION OF SIX NARROWLY-ENDEMIC FLORIDA SCRUB PLANTS.
(1997 SCGIS paper: Principal Investigator: Dr. Eric Menges, Presenter: Christina M. Casado.)
Text and graphics: Archbold Biological Station
January 2, 1997
Hilary Swain, Executive Director
P.O. Box 2057
Lake Placid, FL 33852-2057
Phone: (941) 465-2571