Link to USGS home page.

FS 2006-3117

Prepared in cooperation with:
Pinellas County
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Tampa Bay Water


Flooding Frequency Alters Vegetation in Isolated Wetlands

Kim H. Haag and Terrie M. Lee


Select an option:



      Many isolated wetlands in central Florida occur as small, shallow depressions scattered throughout the karst topography of the region. In these wetlands, the water table approaches land surface seasonally, and water levels and flooding frequency are largely determined by differences between precipitation and evapotranspiration. Because much of the region is flat with little topographic relief, small changes in wetland water levels can cause large changes in wetland surface area. Persistent changes in wetland flooding frequencies, as a result of changes in rainfall or human activity, can cause a substantial change in the vegetation of thousands of acres of land. Understanding the effect that flooding frequency has on wetland vegetation is important to assessing the overall ecological status of wetlands. Wetland bathymetric mapping, when combined with water-level data and vegetation assessments, can enable scientists to determine the frequency of flooding at different elevations in a wetland and describe the effects of flooding frequency on wetland vegetation at those elevations.

      Five cypress swamps and five marshes were studied by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during 2000-2004, as part of an interdisciplinary study of isolated wetlands in central Florida (Haag and others, 2005). Partial results from two of these marshes are described in this report.

Suggested Citation:

Haag, K.H., and Lee, T.M., 2006, Flooding Frequency Alters Vegetation in Isolated Wetlands: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2006-3117, 4 p.

U.S. Geological Survey
Suite 215
10500 University Center Dr.
Tampa, FL 33612-6427

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: USGS Publishing Network
Last modified: Tuesday, 29-Nov-2016 17:23:39 EST

FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button