Pine Flatwoods are the most extensive type of terrestrial ecosystem in Florida. This ecosystem is characterized by flat topography and a canopy of pines. In the southern more coastal regions of the state, flatwoods are slightly higher and drier than their more northern counterparts. Generally these flatwoods are composed of South Florida slash pine (Pinus elliottii var, densa), an understory shrubs, such as saw palmetto, and a somewhat sparser herb-layer below.
In the southern coastal regions of the state, “scrubby flatwoods” are prevalent as a transition zone between flatwoods and scrub habitat, with slightly higher elevations producing drier conditions. Although pine flatwoods are the most extensive type of terrestrial ecosystem in Florida, present-day flatwoods represent only a small fraction of their historic land cover. Human activity has reduced both the quantity and quality of pine flatwoods throughout the state.