Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Evelyn Gaiser

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

James Heffernan

Third Advisor's Name

Kenneth Feeley

Fourth Advisor's Name

Jennifer Richards


Everglades, ridge, slough, vegetation communities, species composition, ordination, hydrologic regimes, topography, lags, alternative stable states

Date of Defense



The historic Everglades Ridge and Slough landscape maintained regularly spaced and elevated sawgrass ridges interspersed among exposed deeper-water sloughs; however, widespread but irregular hydrologic modification has degraded much of this landscape patterning. My study assessed the effects of hydrologic modification on vegetation community distinctness within the Ridge and Slough landscape through sampling species composition at fine-scales along a hydrologic gradient to measure the magnitude of segregation of species among patch types. The results show that vegetation community and topographic variation degradation is widespread, with distinctness differences proceeding and possibly being driven by topographic variation loss. Vegetation responses to past hydrologic regime modifications are likely affected by temporal lags; however, vegetation distinctness regeneration may also be hindered by a vegetatively homogeneous alternative stable state. Hydrologic regime restoration is critical for Ridge and Slough patterned landscape reestablishment, but management targets are complicated by vegetation response lags and possibly alternative stable states.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).