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For the last two decades, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow (CSSS), a federally endangered species, has been a pivot point for water management operations in the Everglades, primarily because a decline in sparrow population in the early 1990s was attributed in part to managementinduced alterations in hydrologic regimes. With a goal of understanding the response of landscape-level processes to hydrological restoration and its interaction with fire, a study intended to monitor vegetation structure and composition throughout the marl prairie landscape has been conducted since 2003 with funding from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). In the first three years (2003-2005), vegetation structure and composition was characterized in relation to the existing hydrologic regime and fire history. During 2006-2010, vegetation was resampled to assess vegetation change within the sparrow habitat. This document summarizes the vegetation change pattern observed between the two sampling periods in sub-population A, C, E and F, emphasizing the work accomplished in FY 2010.


A report from the South Florida Terrestrial Ecosystems Lab (SOFTEL).



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