Sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) survival in a regime of fire and flooding

  • Published source details Herndon A., Gunderson L. & Stenberg J. (1991) Sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) survival in a regime of fire and flooding. Wetlands, 11, 17-28.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance: freshwater marshes

    A study in 1985 in an ephemeral freshwater marsh in Florida, USA (Herndon et al. 1991) reported that following prescribed burning, the height of the dominant plant species increased. Over 50 days following burning, the average height of sawgrass Cladium jamaicense increased by 36 cm (or 0.76 cm/day). Methods: In August 1985, an area of sawgrass-dominated marsh was deliberately burned. Lighting fires at the end of the dry season, when there is no standing water, are a common natural disturbance. Remnant shoots after the burn were 13 cm tall on average, and remained “well above water immediately post-fire”. Sawgrass was monitored for 50 days, by measuring the distance between the soil surface and the tip of the tallest leaf on each of 30 random plants (culms).

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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