Elevations of six biological indicators of historic water levels and hydric soils at twelve isolated Taxodium ascendens dominated wetlands in west-central Florida, USA were compared with long-term surface-water elevations to evaluate use of the indicators for inferring wetland hydrology when adequate water-level data are unavailable. Indicators included the elevation of Lyonia lucida root crown bases, the inflection point at the angular change of T. ascendens buttress swellings, the lower limit of epiphytic bryophytes (moss collars) growing on T. ascendens trunks, the uppermost elevation of woody adventitious roots of Hypericum fasciculatum, ground elevations at the lowest Serenoa repens, and the ground elevation at the landward-most T. ascendens. Elevations of L. lucida, moss collars, and buttress swellings did not differ (p = 0.29) and were higher in elevation than the other indicators and hydric soils. Based on wetland water-level records for a recent ten-year period, L. lucida, moss collars, and buttress swellings were inundated 2–3% of the time, other indicators were inundated 13–29% of the time, and hydric soils were inundated 38% of the time. The biological indicators examined can be associated with hydrologic patterns in cypress domes in west-central Florida and may be useful for inferring hydrologic regimes for other regional wetlands.
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Vol. 26 • No. 4