Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Biology (Integrative Biology)

Major Professor

Gordon Fox, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Susan Bell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ruiliang Pu, Ph.D.


mangroves, estuarine marsh, temporal change, spatial change, climate change


I carried out an observational study of historic high resolution aerial imagery spanning six decades (1950-2014) to identify recent and historic spatial extent of mangrove forests, within the municipal boundaries of the City of Tampa, Florida USA. My objectives were to map mangrove distribution and spatial extent and any change or patterns of change discernable. I observed variable patterns of change and rates of expansion varied between sites spatially as well as within sites between time intervals. I found notable changes in mangrove extent in the Tampa from historic and modern aerial imagery for the ~64-year period between 1950 and 2014. There were significant losses in areal extent between 1950 and 1973, much of which could be directly attributed to anthropogenic modification of the Tampa coastal landscape. All the regions observed had recovered or surpassed their original extent by the end of the period reviewed (1950-2014). It appears much of the recovery observed is a result of recolonization of created or modified shorelines. Results of these observations may contribute to the body of information used to inform conservation and management objectives in the City of Tampa and Tampa Bay.