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WUCF’s SciTech Central Explores Environmental Changes

Posted by Jennifer Cook on

The University of Central Florida features an arboretum that expands over 80-acres.  To maintain the ecosystem, managers use many tools, including controlled burns.  This week on SciTech Central, learn how this fire helps increase biodiversity on the site.

“The plants in Florida depend on fire,” said Amanda Lindsay, Senior Biologist at UCF’s Landscape and Natural Resources.  “A lot of seeds won’t germinate without the heat of fire.  A lot of the ground forbs won’t be able to get sun and grow and that’s something that gopher tortoises and other small animals and mammals depend on.  So without fire a lot of the Florida ecosystem just doesn’t work.”

Every winter, more than 600 manatees migrate to Florida’s Crystal River.  But in recent decades, the springs that feed the river have gone through dramatic changes due to an unwanted algae invasion.  See what’s being done to clean up this one-pristine waterway.

SciTech Central airs Thursday, May 12 at 8:30 p.m. on WUCF TV.