Coastal vegetation is zoned relative to the shore, with flora nearest the shore most tolerant to sea water. This geographic distribution of plants is also repeated temporally. Vegetation tolerant to sea water colonizes newly emerged coasts; as time passes, increasingly terrestrial vegetation replaces the pioneer species. The more inland, terrestrial flora thus marks the position of older shorelines. Coasts subsiding non uniformly are characterized by older shorelines lying closer to the coast in rapidly sinking areas. Applied to the Florida Peninsula, this reasoning suggests that the known, Holocene transgression of the state is not purely eustatic.

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