Cooperative Research Units
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Assessment of vegetation succession and spatial dynamics in Okefenokee Swamp, GA.

Duration

August 2012 - September 2013

Narrative

Fires that burned in Okefenokee Swamp in 2011 appear to have changed the vegetation structure of the swamp more drastically than the past recent fires, creating an increasingly homogenous landscape with fewer barriers to shift fire behavior. In combination with knowledge about hydrological conditions and vegetation-hydrology relationships, fire behavior may be anticipated based on recent post-burn vegetation maps. Vegetation maps developed from photography and imagery captured in 1977, 1990, 2001, and 2008, fire severity maps developed in 2001, 2007, and 2011, and species-hydrology relationships quantified from data collected during 1991-1995 provide a rich database to inform a spatially explicit forecast of vegetation succession with various swamp fire management scenarios. Our approach will spatially relate ecological factors (e.g., fire and hydrology) with vegetation community composition in a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Loftin, C.S., M.Q. Guyette, and P.Wetzel. Evaluation of vegetation-fire dynamics in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA, with Bayesian belief networks. submitted to Wetlands.

Presentations

  • Guyette, M.Q. and C.S. Loftin. 2013. A Bayesian belief network assessment of vegetation succession and spatial dynamics in response to fire and hydrological conditions in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Ameica, August 4-9, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Loftin, C.S., and M.Q. Guyette. 2014. A Bayesian belief network assessment of vegetation spatial dynamics in response to fire in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. Presentation at the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting, 18-23 May, Portland, OR.
 

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 3

Phd Students: 5

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 22

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 28

Scientific Publications: 54

Presentations: 266

 

Personnel

Funding Agencies

  • Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Links

Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  2. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  3. U.S. Geological Survey
  4. University of Maine
  5. Wildlife Management Institute