For the botanist, a lawn is a plant formation consisting of herbaceous species of low height (barely exceeding 20-30 cm in height), mainly grasses, such as grasslands. Leaving the ground bare in places, it can sprinkled with rare small shrubs. They host a rich biodiversity and are home to many different plants, sometimes endemic or rare (lawn service Florida Keys).
The lawns have a rich biodiversity (up to 50 plant species per square meter). They are home to 26% of nationally protected plants and 30% of plant species recorded, as well as many rare insects. The disappearance of these major ecological interest imply the disappearance of species that live there. Orchids are emblematic species lawns.
When the structure of lawn is both due to poor soil and its exploitation by extensive grazing and / or mowing with export (hay), it is called agro-ecosystems. Extensive farming activities help maintain these environments or family environments called “surrogate”. The plateaux in Massif Central are the typical example.
In fact, most of diet of humans comes from grasses, both directly -cereal grains and its derivatives, such as flour and aceites- or indirect -meat, milk and eggs that come from livestock and poultry feed on pasture or grains-. It is a cosmopolitan family, which has conquered most of planet’s ecological niches, from desert areas to salt water ecosystems, and from the inner city to highest mountain systems.
They have leaves arranged alternately, typically composed sheath, ligule and limbo. Sheath tightly surrounds the stem, its margins overlap but do not fuse together (only occasionally can found forming a tube). Ligule membranous is a small appendage, or rarely a group of hairs (trichomes), located at the junction of blade with the sheath, on adaxial side.
Aforementioned lawns are theoretically well-maintained because they are not in competition with woody species that have difficulty with altitude, mid dehydrated and / or under the direct influence of wind and salt spray. Conversely, a significant number of lawn have been created indirectly by man, there are several centuries by forest clearance and pastoralism.
Their role was crucial to human activity as they allowed to feed livestock, especially sheep and goats. Other lawns of this type are born from the recent abandonment of vineyards. In this case, if man is not involved in their management, these environments naturally evolve into a forest stage through ecological succession. Many lawns have disappeared (overgrown, woody) abandoned for lack of profitability in early twentieth century. Since that time, 50 to 75% dry grasslands were perdues
In these cases there is usually longitudinally folded sheets (conduplicate they say) or (convoluted) are screwed. This feature is well illustrated by the first prefoliacion. It also lets you identify certain species. For example, sheets are typical conduplicate St. Augustine Grass, Bromus brevis, Dactylis glomerata, Axonopus compressus, Poa lanuginosa, among others. The convoluted leaves can seen in Lolium multiflorum, Bromus unioloides, Paspalum dilatatum, among many other examples. In some cases the sheet is modified becoming thick and subulate, and Sporobolus rigens.
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