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projects > quantitative sampling of freshwater fish species within the big cypress national preserve: a long-term research program to evaluate the ecological effects of cerp

Quantitative Sampling of Freshwater Fish Species within the Big Cypress National Preserve: A Long-Term Research Program to Evaluate the Ecological Effects of CERP

photo of trees and water
Project Investigators: William Loftus, Jerome J. Lorenz

Project Personnel: Greg Ellis, Marcus Zokan

Project Start Date: 2003 End Date: 2006


Summary

This program will 1) document the distribution, composition, and habitat use by native and introduced fishes so as to evaluate the effects of Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan on Big Cypress National Preserve aquatic habitats, 2) gather specimens for life-history studies, and 3) provide ecological data for use in simulation models that will be used to plan and evaluate restoration actions.

For more information, please see the Influence of Hydrology on Life-History Parameters of Common Freshwater Fishes from Southern Florida Project Webpage. Please note: the previous title for this project was 'Aquatic-Animal Community Dynamics in Seasonally Variable Wetlands of the Big Cypress Swamp.'

A major ecosystem of the South Florida area, the Big Cypress National Preserve, is poorly understood biologically. To detect changes in natural and artificial habitats resulting from Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan programs, baseline data on constituent aquatic communities and their ecology are needed before and after the restoration actions. Fishes and aquatic invertebrates can serve as indicators of the health of these wetlands. They are important because of their role in the food web, as prey for many of the predatory species, especially alligators and wading birds. The data collected here will examine the relationships of the animals to the hydrological regimes. This project has several objectives, the foremost of which is to begin a program of aquatic study in Big Cypress National Preserve. Work is performed in CESU-partnership with National Audubon Society and clients from the National Park Service to design and implement a spatially and temporally explicit, quantitative sampling program for aquatic animals in Big Cypress National Preserve.

This project is part of the National Park Service's Inventory and Monitoring Program.

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