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Fire, Hydrology and Soils along the Mangrove Ecotone within the Greater Everglades Ecosystem

aerial photo of a burned mangrove - marsh ecotone
Project Investigators: Ann M. Foster, Thomas J. Smith III, John W. Jones

Project Personnel: Ursula Garfield, Ginger Tiling-Range, Paul R. Nelson

Project Start Date: 2010 End Date: 2013

Recent Funding: (FY12) USGS GE PES, (FY11) USGS GE PES, (FY10) USGS GE PES


The occurrence of invasive exotic plants has confounded the fire regime in Everglades National Park by changing the dynamics of how the vegetation burns. This phenomenon has been observed in mangrove forests especially along ecotones with upland vegetation communities. By examining the association between fire, soil, water and vegetation we can begin to understand the ecology and dynamics of these areas.

This project will provide information on the inter-relationship between soils, fire and hydroperiod at the mangrove ecotone. How the ecotone moves in response to these abiotic factors will provide managers with information that contributes to developing a strategy for maintaining native plant communities and combating the presence of invasive exotic species.

Project objectives:

  • Update Everglades National Park (ENP)/Big Cypress National Preserve fire history geodatabase to 2011 to both expand data available for project analysis and provide increased time-line of data for development and testing of remote sensing methods.
  • Enhance on-going development and evaluation of remote sensing methods for mapping vegetation characteristics and monitoring vegetation changes with emphasis through this collaborative work on the targeted Mangrove - upland ecotone.
  • Conduct a thorough analysis of the history of fire in ENP and develop relationships between natural fires and aspects of water management.
  • By using the fire history database we will determine which ecotones have burned more frequently than others.
  • Relate fire frequency to occurrence of exotic plants along the mangrove-non-mangrove ecotones in ENP.

Work Plans




Fact Sheets

Journal Articles

Open File Reports



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Script last updated: 23 October 2018 @ 12:03 PM by THF. Record creator: KP. Record last updated by: KP.