Ecology of fire-influenced Cladium jamaicense marshes in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): D. Imbert; L. Delbe
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • brackish marshes
  • Caribbean
  • Cladium
  • Cladium jamaicense
  • Cladium jamaicense
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • forest edges
  • Guadeloupe
  • human caused fires
  • marshes
  • pH
  • salinity
  • soil management
  • soil moisture
  • soil nutrients
  • soils
  • species diversity (plants)
  • swamps
  • vegetation structure
  • vegetation surveys
  • water
  • waterlogged soils
  • watershed management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48120
Tall Timbers Record Number: 24188
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The sawgrass Cladium jamaicense forms extensive, quite monospecific stands within coastal swamps of the Caribbean region. Fire acts as an important ecological factor in the control of vegetation dynamics in these marshes. In the archipelago of Guadeloupe, during the dry season, fires are set as a customary practice nearly each year. The purpose of this study was to characterize the ecology of Cladium marshes in Guadeloupe and to assess more specifically floristic and structural changes that might occur within these marsh communities once the setting of fires has been discontinued. Fifty-four 2x10 m plots were set up along seaward/landward transects including mangrove and swamp forest edges. The main characteristics of soil and vegetation in a regularly burned marsh were compared to those of two marshes where the setting of fires had been discontinued for at least 15 years. Cladium height and species richness were negatively correlated to water level, redox potential, and salinity, and followed decreasing landward/seaward gradients. Discontinuation of fire regime modified the vertical structure of the vegetation and the marsh flora by promoting woody species vs. herbaceous species. Paleoecological investigations are needed for a better understanding of the influence of anthropogenic fires in the long-term dynamics of such marshes. © 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

Imbert, D., and L. Delbe. 2006. Ecology of fire-influenced Cladium jamaicense marshes in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles. Wetlands, v. 26, no. 2, p. 289-297.