Click on the names of vegetation in the image below to view vegetation descriptions
The breeding habitat of the Cape Sable seaside sparrow is being encroached upon by two different habitat types. These vegetation types proliferate either under wetter conditions (i.e., increasing water levels) than the marl prairies can tolerate or under conditions in which fire is suppressed. The two species that are able to increase with increasing water availability are Sawgrass and Spike Rush. An additional species that is able to take hold under wetter conditions is an algae, periphyton.
Marl and mixed-marl prairies, while susceptible to increased water levels also change in species composition when fire is suppressed in the Everglades. Ideal breeding habitat for the Cape Sable Sparrow needs burning every four to ten years. If the marl prairies are burnt too often then species associated with marl prairies do not have time to recover and provide adequate breeding habitat. If the stands are burnt less frequently then every decade, pine stands are able to encroach and take over marl prairie habitat.