Sparkle Leigh Malone

Sparkle Leigh Malone
Yale University | YU · School of the Environment

PhD Biology
Looking for potential collaborators to develop an Environmental Alliance.

About

93
Publications
14,428
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
Sparkle Malone is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University. Sparkle’s primary research focus is to improve our understanding of how climate and disturbance regimes influence spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem structure and function. Using remote sensing, eddy covariance, and spatial and temporal models she explores questions related to ecosystem condition, sustainability, and vulnerability to climate extremes.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - August 2022
Florida International University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
November 2014 - July 2017
US Forest Service
Position
  • Research Ecologist
January 2014 - November 2014
US Forest Service
Position
  • Student Trainee
Education
January 2011 - August 2014
University of Alabama
Field of study
  • Ecology
August 2009 - August 2010
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Forestry
August 2007 - May 2009
University of Florida
Field of study
  • Forestry

Publications

Publications (93)
Article
Full-text available
Premise: Wetland plants regularly experience physiological stresses resulting from inundation; however, plant responses to the interacting effects of water level and inundation duration are not fully understood. Methods: We conducted a mesocosm experiment on two wetland species, sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) and muhly grass (Muhlenbergia filipes...
Preprint
Full-text available
Understanding the sources and sinks of CH4 is critical to both predicting and mitigating future climate change. There are large uncertainties in the global budget of atmospheric CH4, but natural emissions are estimated to be of a similar magnitude to total anthropogenic emissions. The largest sources of uncertainty in scaling bottom-up CH4 estimate...
Article
Full-text available
How aquatic primary productivity influences the carbon (C) sequestering capacity of wetlands is uncertain. We evaluated the magnitude and variability in aquatic C dynamics and compared them to net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) rates within calcareous freshwater wetlands in Everglades National Park. We continuously re...
Article
The field of ecology in the United States is not fully harnessing the diverse perspectives of the American population. Two major limitations to advancing diversity and inclusion include insufficient awareness of biased attitudes and the lack of large‐scale faculty engagement in diversity and inclusion programs. Academic institutions must recognize...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To investigate whether the frequently advocated climate-matching species distribution modeling approach could predict the well-characterized colonization of Florida by the Madagascar giant day gecko Phelsuma grandis. Location Madagascar and Florida, USA. Methods To determine the climatic conditions associated with the native range of P. grand...
Preprint
Full-text available
Invasion risks may be influenced either negatively or positively by climate change, depending on the species. These can be predicted with species distribution models, but projections can be strongly affected by input environmental data (climate data source, Global Circulation Models and Shared Socio-economic Pathways SSP). We modelled the distribut...
Article
Widespread adoption of eddy covariance (EC) methods for methane (CH4) flux measurement has led to increased availability of continuous high-frequency CH4 data. However, unreliable data frequently occur during periods of atmospheric stability, rain or instrument malfunction, requiring filtering prior to subsequent analyses. While procedures for asse...
Article
Understanding the sources and sinks of methane (CH4) is critical to both predicting and mitigating future climate change. There are large uncertainties in the global budget of atmospheric CH4, but natural emissions are estimated to be of a similar magnitude to anthropogenic emissions. To understand CH4 flux from biogenic sources in the United State...
Poster
Full-text available
Populations of Aedes aegypti, the main vector for dengue virus transmission and other infectious diseases, are expanding throughout Florida due to the state’s tropical and subtropical climate. In Florida, the exposure of insecticides is not evenly distributed through every county, potentially generating genetic diversity in target populations of Ae...
Poster
Full-text available
Although coastal wetlands play a disproportionate role in the global carbon (C) cycle, they also face multiple anthropogenic stressors on varying timescales, including sea level rise, land cover change, and altered hydrology 1-3. • Stressors are often heightened in coastal ecotones that have freshwater and saline conditions which can exceed plants'...
Poster
Full-text available
Water level synchrony, a measure of water level changing in unison, is a key conservation indicator for landscape hydrology. To date the literature on water level synchrony in the Everglades is scarce, although this indicator of change may provide important insights to landscape dynamics. To understand the implications of seasonal and annual change...
Poster
Full-text available
In fire dependent ecosystems, such as the upland pine forests of the Florida Everglades, regular disturbance by fire is critical for maintaining biological and structural diversity, supporting ecosystem function and resilience to change. The timing of fire recurrence (fire return intervals) in Everglades upland forested ecosystems is thought to be...
Poster
Full-text available
The role of tidal mangrove wetlands in sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and mitigating climate change has received increasing recognition in recent years. While studies have shown that methane (CH4) emissions can potentially offset the carbon burial rates in low-salinity coastal wetlands, there are very few studies that have made direc...
Article
Full-text available
How climate and habitat drive variation in aquatic metabolism in wetlands remains uncertain. To quantify differences in seasonal aquatic metabolism among wetlands, we estimated aquatic ecosystem metabolism (gross primary productivity, GPP; ecosystem respiration, ER; net aquatic productivity, NAP) in subtropical ridge and slough wetlands of the Flor...
Article
Full-text available
It is a critical time to reflect on the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) science to date as well as envision what research can be done right now with NEON (and other) data and what training is needed to enable a diverse user community. NEON became fully operational in May 2019 and has pivoted from planning and construction to operatio...
Poster
Full-text available
Since the 1970s, agricultural runoff into the Water Conservation Areas has caused an increase in nutrient loading in the Florida Everglades. This has led to changes in the water quality and ecology in the area. The nutrient-enriched water pumped into a naturally nutrient-poor Everglades negatively impacts this unique landscape. With the rise in hum...
Poster
Full-text available
Fire coverage is influenced by climate patterns and different disturbances, such as drought. This study aims to evaluate the effects of drought conditions on fire areas burned using the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI). The study was conducted using fire data from 1990 to 2010 from the Everglades National Park in south Florida. Palmer drought s...
Poster
Full-text available
Increasing temperatures over the last decade in Alaska has affected the mallard population by altering their migration patterns and energy conservation. Previous research on the relationship between temperature and migratory patterns in avian species indicates that many species reduce their migratory distance and frequency in order to conserve ener...
Poster
Full-text available
Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, from mangrove litterfall are essential in supporting food chains and promoting nutrient cycling but can be detrimental in excess. In this study, we analyzed how litterfall from mangroves affect water quality, specifically total nitrogen and total phosphorus, over a period of 15 years. Total nitrogen and t...
Poster
Full-text available
Prescribed fire is used to reduce the presence and spread of Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) in the Florida Everglades. L. microphyllum was first discovered in Florida at a Delray Beach nursery in 1958 where it was used in cultivation. It was later found in Martin County in the wild in 1960 and soon spread throughout parts of Florid...
Poster
Full-text available
Hurricanes are a regular occurrence that change the structure and function of natural ecosystems across the Florida coastline. To understand how hurricanes change the carbon dynamics of Florida’s coastal environment, we analyzed structural and functional changes in Everglades freshwater wetlands. We hypothesized that dead floating mats or "hotspots...
Poster
Full-text available
Fire is an essential ecological force for the flora and fauna of Everglades fire adapted ecosystems. Fire regimes are largely responsible for the composition and ultimate sustainability of these fire adapted ecosystems. Properties of fire regimes (e.g., pattern, frequency, and intensity) are mainly dictated by vegetation type, and climate patterns....
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Many research and monitoring networks in recent decades have provided publicly available data documenting environmental and ecological change, but little is known about the status of efforts to synthesize this information across networks. We convened a working group to assess ongoing and potential cross‐network synthesis research and outli...
Poster
Full-text available
Even though the Florida Everglades is a fire adapted ecosystem, different ongoing land management practices and hydrological restoration activities have led to change in the fire regimes of its ecosystem. We have little knowledge about this change in fire regime and its effect in the vegetation post-fire recovery. This research is thus an effort to...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction of temporary grasslands into cropping cycles could be a sustainable management practice leading to increased soil organic carbon (SOC) to contribute to climate change adaption and mitigation. To investigate the impact of temporary grassland management practices on SOC storage of croplands, we used a spatially resolved sampling approach...
Poster
Full-text available
Although the Everglades is an inundated system, it relies on particular fire regimes to maintain vegetation and landscape heterogeneity. In this analysis, we examined changes in fire dynamics in the Everglades National Park from 1948-2017. We analyzed shifts in the number of fires for 4 vegetation types and compared the proportion of wild and presc...
Poster
Full-text available
Even though the Florida Everglades is a fire adapted ecosystem, different ongoing land management practices and hydrological restoration activities have led to change in the fire regimes. We have little knowledge about this change and its effect in the vegetation post-fire recovery. This research is thus an effort to understand how these ecosystems...
Poster
Full-text available
Ecosystem carbon uptake efficiency (CUE) demonstrates the balance between respiratory fluxes and primary productivity. Ecosystems with higher respiratory fluxes are sources of carbon to the atmosphere while the dominance of primary productivity transfer carbon from the atmosphere to terrestrial ecosystems. Due to differences in vegetation structure...
Chapter
Full-text available
Two common approaches to conserving biodiversity are conserving the actors (species) and conserving the stage (habitat). Many management efforts focus on conserving the actors, but a major challenge to this strategy is uncertainty surrounding how species’ geographic ranges might shift in response to global change, including climate and land use cha...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
An analysis of variance (ANOVA; 𝛼=0.05) was used to determine the effect of biome type, climate zone and mean annual temperature on Amax using the function aov in base R (Chambers et al., 1992). We fit a linear model to evaluate the relationship of parameters with a significant effect on Amax (Chambers et al., 1992; Wilkinson and Roger 1973). We...
Poster
Full-text available
An analysis of variance (ANOVA; 𝛼=0.05) was used to determine the effect of biome type, climate zone and mean annual temperature on Amax using the function aov in base R (Chambers et al., 1992). We fit a linear model to evaluate the relationship of parameters with a significant effect on Amax (Chambers et al., 1992; Wilkinson and Roger 1973). We ca...
Article
Andisols, rich in minerals like allophane, imogolite and iron- (Fe) or aluminum- (Al) oxides have high phosphorus (P) sorption capacity and require annual P additions to ensure plant productivity. It is known that the use of composted poultry manure (PM) increases soil labile P and carbon concentration, although the mechanisms controlling P availab...
Article
We may be able to buffer biodiversity against the effects of ongoing climate change by prioritizing the protection of habitat with diverse physical features (high geodiversity) associated with ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that maintain high biodiversity. Nonetheless, the relationships between biodiversity and habitat vary with spatial and...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfires in forest ecosystems produce landscape mosaics that include relatively unaffected areas, termed fire refugia. These patches of persistent forest cover can support fire-sensitive species and the biotic legacies important for post-fire forest recovery, yet little is known about their abundance and distribution within fire perimeters. Readil...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change has altered global precipitation patterns and has led to greater variation in hydrological conditions. Wetlands are important globally for their soil carbon storage. Given that wetland carbon processes are primarily driven by hydrology, a comprehensive understanding of the effect of inundation is needed. In this study, we evaluated t...
Article
Full-text available
Issue Geodiversity (i.e., the variation in Earth's abiotic processes and features) has strong effects on biodiversity patterns. However, major gaps remain in our understanding of how relationships between biodiversity and geodiversity vary over space and time. Biodiversity data are globally sparse and concentrated in particular regions. In contrast...
Article
The eddy covariance (EC) technique has been widely used to measure ecosystem surface energy fluxes. However, with a relatively small representative area (footprint), errors are often introduced when upscaling EC data based on variables derived from large-footprint satellite products. Furthermore, EC measurements often fail to close the energy balan...
Article
The Everglades short-hydroperiod freshwater prairies exhibit strong reductions in CO2 uptake that coincide with inundation, but the underlying basis is not fully understood. To address one of the processes potentially underlying this decline, we measured photosynthetic capacity of the dominant species, sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense) and muhly grass...
Article
Full-text available
Like many other high elevation alpine tree species, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata Engelm.) may be particularly vulnerable to climate change. To evaluate its potential vulnerability to shifts in climate, we defined the suitable climate space for each of four genetic lineages of bristlecone pine and for other subalpine tree species...
Data
(a.) Differences in elevation between true and public Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plot locations. (b.) A comparison of the bristlecone pine climate space defined by true (yellow) and public FIA plots combined with supplemental plots. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Drought has many consequences in the tidally dominated Spartina sp. salt marshes of the southeastern US; including major dieback events, changes in sediment chemistry and obvious changes in the landscape. These coastal systems tend to be highly productive, yet many salt marshes are also nitrogen limited and depend on plant associated diazotrophs as...
Article
Full-text available
We examined spatial patterns of post-fire regenerating conifers in a Colorado, USA, dry conifer forest 11–12 years following the reintroduction of mixed-severity fire. We mapped and measured all post-fire regenerating conifers, as well as all other post-fire regenerating trees and all residual (i.e., surviving) trees, in three 4-ha plots following...
Article
Full-text available
Forests are becoming increasingly vulnerable to rising tree mortality rates in response to warming and drought. In California, the most severe drought on record occurred from 2012 to 2016 and high tree mortality rates were observed in response to this prolonged drought. Differences in satellite-derived estimates of water-use efficiency (WUE) under...
Poster
Full-text available
While the Everglades is important for its capacity to sequester CO2, this complex suite of wetland ecosystems may also be a source of CH4 to the atmosphere. The few previous studies have shown that Everglades CH4 emissions are within the range of other temperate and subtropical wetlands (21-639 mg CH4 m-2 d-1). However, most studies have been short...
Article
Full-text available
Drought is a global issue that is exacerbated by climate change and increasing anthropogen-ic water demands. The recent occurrence of drought in California provides an important opportunity to examine drought response across ecosystem classes (forests, shrublands, grasslands, and wetlands), which is essential to understand how climate influences ec...
Presentation
Full-text available
Post-fire tree regeneration in ponderosa pine forests of the central Rockies
Article
Full-text available
We analyzed the ecosystem effects of low-temperature events (<5 °C) over 4 years (2009–2012) in subtropical short and long hydroperiod freshwater marsh and mangrove forests within Everglades National Park. To evaluate changes in ecosystem productivity, we measured temporal patterns of CO2 and the normalized difference vegetation index over the stud...
Presentation
Full-text available
Shaped by the hydrology of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades watershed, the Florida Everglades is composed of a conglomerate of wetland ecosystems that have varying capacities to sequester and store carbon. Hydrology, which is a product of the region’s precipitation and temperature patterns combined with water management policy, drives community...
Poster
Full-text available
Background Measurements of long-term exchange of CO2 between the ecosystem and the atmosphere have improved the scientific understanding of the role that terrestrial ecosystems play in the global carbon budget. Eddy covariance (EC), a micrometeorological technique, allows estimation of continuously measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) betwe...
Article
Many recent wildfires in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson) – dominated forests of the western United States have burned more severely than historical ones, generating concern about forest resilience. This concern stems from uncertainty about the ability of ponderosa pine and other co-occurring conifers to regenerate in areas where...
Article
Submerged and emergent wetland plant communities are evaluated for their response to global climate change (GCC), focusing on seagrasses, submerged freshwater plants, tidal marsh plants, freshwater marsh plants and mangroves. Similarities and differences are assessed in plant community responses to temperature increase, CO2 increase, greater UV-B e...
Poster
Full-text available
This work examines changes in forest cover following wildfire in ponderosa pine forest in the Colorado Front Range.
Poster
Full-text available
Wildfire is a complex landscape process with great uncertainty in whether trends in size and severity are shifting trajectories for ecosystem recovery that are outside of the historical range of variability. Considering that wildfire size and severity is likely to increase into the future with a drier climate, it is important that we understand wil...
Poster
Full-text available
The objective of this research is use Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine population genetics, geographic distribution, climate and regeneration data to determine how Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine extent is likely to shift with climate change.
Poster
Full-text available
Wildfire is a complex landscape process with great uncertainty in whether trends in size and severity are shifting trajectories for ecosystem recovery that is outside of the historical range of variability. Considering that wildfire size and severity is likely to increase into the future with drier climate, it is important that we understand wildfi...
Article
The increased need for water and food security requires the development of new approaches to save water through irrigation management strategies, particularly for center pivot irrigation. To do so entails monitoring of the dynamic variation in wind drift and evaporation losses (WDELs) of irrigation systems under different weather conditions and for...
Poster
Full-text available
Although south Florida is subtropical with mild winters, severe cold weather can occur when the polar jet stream moves towards the southern region of the US. Here, the frequency and intensity of cold events are important when considering species and ecosystem distributions across the landscape. To determine the vulnerability of Everglades ecosystem...
Article
Shaped by the hydrology of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades watershed, the Florida Everglades is composed of a conglomerate of wetland ecosystems that have varying capacities to sequester and store carbon. Hydrology, which is a product of the region’s precipitation and temperature patterns combined with water management policy, drives community...
Poster
Full-text available
Long-term research informs carbon source/sink dynamics in Everglades short- and long-hydroperiod marshes
Poster
Full-text available
How do changes in freshwater availability interact with climate to affect ecosystem structure and function within Everglades ecosystems.
Article
Full-text available
The increased need for water and food security requires the development of new approaches to save water through irrigation management strategies, particularly for center pivot irrigation. To do so entails monitoring of the dynamic variation in wind drift and evaporation losses (WDELs) of irrigation systems under different weather conditions and for...
Article
Full-text available
This research examines the relationships between El Niñ o Southern Oscillation (ENSO), water level, precipitation patterns and carbon dioxide (CO 2) exchange rates in the freshwater wetland ecosystems of the Florida Everglades. Data was obtained over a 5-year study period (2009–2013) from two freshwater marsh sites located in Everglades National Pa...
Article
We analyzed energy partitioning in short- and long-hydroperiod freshwater marsh ecosystems in the Florida Everglades by examining energy balance components (Eddy Covariance derived latent energy (LE) and sensible heat (H) flux). The study period included several wet and dry seasons and variable water levels, allowing us to gain better mechanistic i...
Poster
Full-text available
The Florida Everglades is composed of a conglomerate of wetland ecosystems that have varying capacities to sequester and store carbon. Hydrology drives the productivity of Everglades ecosystems, which is ultimately a product of the region’s precipitation patterns. As shifts in both air temperature and precipitation are expected over the next 100 ye...
Poster
Full-text available
This research examines variations in precipitation, water level and carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange rates in the freshwater wetland ecosystems of the Florida Everglades in response to phase changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Teleconnections from ENSO are known to affect global climate and have been associated with precipitation and w...
Poster
Full-text available
Ecosystem Responses to Simulated Drought in Everglades Short Hydroperiod Freshwater Marshes