Study

Ecology of fire-influenced Cladium jamaicense marshes in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles

  • Published source details Imbert D. & Delbé L. (2006) Ecology of fire-influenced Cladium jamaicense marshes in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles. Wetlands, 26, 289-297.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance: brackish/salt marshes

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

    A site comparison study in 2003 of three ephemeral brackish marshes in Guadeloupe (Imbert & Delbé 2006) found that a marsh where traditional burning was maintained had similar plant species richness to marshes where burning had ceased, but supported a greater relative abundance of herbaceous vegetation. The burned marsh had statistically similar plant species richness (27 species/320 m2) to the unburned marshes (32 species/480 m2). However, the burned marsh was dominated more by short herbs (45% of all individual plants; unburned: 21%) and less by trees/woody lianas (14% of all individual plants; unburned: 27%). The dominant herb, sawgrass Cladium jamaicense, was significantly shorter in burned than unburned marshes (see original paper for data). The tallest tree stems in burned marshes were only 1–2 m, compared to 8 m in the unburned marsh. Methods: In March–April 2003, plant species, cover and height were recorded in three coastal brackish marshes. One marsh was still burned under a traditional management regime (last burned in 2001). In the other two marshes, within a nature reserve, traditional burning had ceased around 1998. Vegetation was surveyed in 16–24 plots, each 20 m2, in each marsh.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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