Florida softshell turtles play a role in the aquatic ecosystem both as predators and as scavengers, and in turn provide food (as eggs and post-hatching turtles) for other predators.
Young Apalone ferox are prone to bacterial and fungal skin problems; these problems occur in both wild and captive animals and populations. Little is known about parasites in Apalone ferox; they can harbor leeches, and Foster et al. (1998) found eight helminth species in Florida softshell turtle obtained from a commercial processor. The most prevalent helminths were Spiroxys amydae (80%), Cephalogonimus vesicaudus (80%), Vasotrema robustum (76%) and Proteocephalus (63%). ()