Ordway-Swisher Biological Station - OSBS

Site Type

Core Terrestrial


Florida, D03, Southeast

Site Host

University of Florida Foundation

Map Legend
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NEON Sampling Boundaries
Tower Airshed Boundary
Tower Location

This map depicts the spatial layout of this field site. Please note that some locations may have moved over time due to logistics, safety and science requirements. This map was updated on July 11, 2018

Construction Status for this Site

Civil Construction Sensor Installation Field Sampling Data Status
Partially Available


The Ordway-Swisher Biological Station (OSBS) is operated by the University of Florida and comprises over 9,300 acres. It is a year-round field station established for the long-term study and conservation of unique ecosystems through management, research and education. The Station is located approximately 20 miles east of Gainesville in Melrose (Putnam County, Florida). There are two aquatic arrays at Ordway-Swisher, representing the two dominant aquatic features on the landscape: 1) Suggs lake, a shallow surface water lake that is rich in taxa and biologically active in structure and function; and 2) Barco lake, a deep lake connected to ground water.

Site history & management

The forest is maintained by fire and has a relatively open structure: it is managed with prescribed burns at a frequency of 3-4 years.


Ordway-Swisher is dominated by pine and turkey oak (Quercus laevis Walter) vegetation with a grass and forb groundcover. Pines are primarily Longleaf Pines (Pinus palustris Mill.) and Lobolly (P. Taeda) and the dominant perennial grass is wiregrass (Aristida stricta Michx.). Numerous species of other perennial grasses and forbs also present. Mean canopy height is approximately 23 meters.


Dominant soil types at Ordway-Swisher are Candler fine sand, Hyperthermic and uncoated Lamellic Quartzipsamments.

Site-specific topics

The Ordway-Swisher Biological Station site is designed to study an intact longleaf pine ecosystem, which is one of the historically dominant forest types in the region. The longleaf pine ecosystem spans the region, with deep sandy soils through the central ridgeline from North-to-mid Florida.

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