Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Sparkle Malone

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Michael Ross

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Daniel Gann

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Prescribed fire, water levels, fire return intervals, fire management, adaptive management solutions

Date of Defense



Although fire-adapted ecosystems in Everglades require regular burning to maintain wetland ecosystems, land management and climate-change have altered natural fire-regime. Due to changes in climate and hydrology, historical fire-regimes may become irrelevant. To understand changing fire return intervals, I look at patterns in ecosystem recovery, where fast recovery is indicative of resilience and adaption with an objective of understanding post-fire recovery time in Everglades. I evaluated how post-fire recovery rates were influenced by hydrology and fire-history (1948-2019) by measuring changes in normalized difference vegetation index following fires that burned between 2005-2019 within Everglades. Hydrology had stronger effect on post-fire recovery compared to fire history. Increasing water-levels by 10% across Everglades either shortened (sawgrass marl prairie) or prolonged (cattail marsh, graminoid marsh, graminoid prairie, halophytic herbaceous prairie and sawgrass marsh) post-fire recovery estimates. Fire return intervals for Everglades were dynamic and fire-management must develop novel approaches to manage fire-regimes.





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