Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
78. Forthman, C. A. 1973. The effects of prescribed burning on sawgrass Cladium jamaicense Crantz, in south Florida. M.S. Thesis. University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 83 pp.
The highest temperatures measured in a sawgrass fire occurred at 0.5 m above water in the greatest litter accumulation. Burning over water or wet soil resulted in no observable direct kill of sawgrass culms. Growth rates of leaves appear greater for about one month after burning than at other times with the exception of the usual seasonal surge from April through June. Fall-burned sites did not reach pre-burn height in the first year following burn; spring-burned sites did. The spring-burned sites had greater over-all growth rates than fall-burned sites. There were no changes in successional stage of the sawgrass community after fire although herbs initially increased. Large amounts of nutrients were released by the burns, but most were reduced and removed within 6 h. Sawgrass appears capable of withstanding repeated annual spring burning if the soil is moist, but effects upon flowering are unknown. [From author's abstract]