Fire and water balance

Wetlands are sponge like:

They hold onto their water for a long time.

The chart above shows wetland water depth for five regions of the Big Cypress and Everglades ecosystems.  The red arrow shows the current water depth, the dark gray arrow a month ago and the light gray arrow a year ago today.  The dotted black line indicates the long-term average water level for mid January.

Three months into the dry season and the peat habitats are still saturated or moist.  The driest part of the Everglades is Water Conservation Area 2 but even there water levels are still 0.5 ft deep center of the sloughs.  The wettest, as usual, is Water Conservation Area 3.  The average slough depth there is almost 2 ft deep. The marsh center of the domes in Big Cypress National Preserve are still about a foot deep. That means natural fire breaks are flooded …

And the fire water balance is in check.

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