Hydrology & Vegetation

Marl Prairie

The vegetation of a site is inextricably linked with the long-term hydrology of that site. If short-hydroperiods persist, the vegetation associated with these sites will develop into Muhlenbergia grass dominated marl prairies. These marl prairies, with interspersed thin stands of sawgrass, provide the necessary habitat for breeding and foraging due to the grasses vertical structure as well as the prairies openness. If the hydroperiod of an area shifts toward a long hydroperiod (i.e., greater than 270 days), these prairies will develop into thick stands of sawgrass.

Cladium

These long hydroperiod marshes may be utilized by the Cape Sable seaside sparrow for foraging but they are unsuitable for breeding. Thus, if management strategies increase the hydroperiod of an area, these areas will eventually shift towards thick sawgrass stands which will lead to a decrease in available breeding habitat for the sparrow.


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