Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Joseph Garcia, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Brinkmann, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kevin Archer, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of forest fragmentation on a forest fragment in south Tampa, Florida. To determine these effects, several research objectives are defined, which include: (1) an historical analysis of the development and fragmentation of the study area; (2) documentation of the effects of fragmentation on the site; and (3) development of a management policy relating to site-specific fragmentation effects.

Forest fragmentation and its attendant human impacts have altered many of the natural physical and biological processes associated with the three ecosystem types present within this forest fragment. These ecosystems include pine flatwoods, mesic hammock, and hydric hammock. Three major conclusions can be drawn from this study regarding the effects on these ecosystems: (1) although drainage structures are present, a soil and vegetation analysis within the hydric hammock shows no widespread drying or flooding of the hammock soil. The presence of a layer of limestone topped by a 2Bg horizon suggests that the Floridan Aquifer is very near the soil surface within the hydric hammock; (2) due to this forest fragment's urban location and close proximity to exotic plant seed sources, several invasive exotic plant species have become established on the site. These exotic plants can be removed manually or through the use of herbicide; and (3) fire exclusion has led to hardwood invasion within the pine flatwoods. Prescribed burning within the flatwoods will help control future hardwood invasion.

Included in

Geography Commons