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projects > interrelation of everglades hydrology and florida bay dynamics to ecosystem processes and restoration in south florida

Interrelation of Everglades Hydrology and Florida Bay Dynamics to Ecosystem Processes and Restoration in South Florida

photo of a group of palm trees in a prairie
Project Investigators: Raymond W. Schaffranek, Thomas J. Smith III

Project Personnel: Ann M. Foster, Carson Van Arsdall

Project Start Date: 2002 End Date: 2005


Summary

This ecological synthesis project will integrate the numerous autecological floral and faunal studies which have been conducted over the years within the SICS area. Particular attention will be paid to defining and constructing longterm datasets which will have the potential to measure changes and be integrated with the hydrodynamic models currently being developed. These datasets, when fully developed, will be used to assess change within the study area as related to past management practices and to guide the development of future environmental management scenarios as related to the Central and South Florida Project Review.

Please note: This individual project is now completed and is now part of the "Dynamics of Land Margin Ecosystems: Historical Change, Hydrology, Vegetation, Sediment, and Climate" project.

The biotic resources of the Taylor Slough and northeast Florida Bay regions of Everglades National Park will respond to the physical forcing functions of their environment. The dominant physical forcings are primarily hydrological and include hydroperiod, hydropattern and flow. Fire is an important component in the freshwater and coastal marshes of Taylor Slough and may have an important feedback loop to hydrological forcings by altering the vegetation resistance to flow. By decreasing vegetative biomass, fire may increase flow rates. Hurricanes are more important to the fringing mangrove forests of Florida Bay. Numerous anthropogenic changes have affected the region of the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS), primarily water diversion which have altered both hydroperiod and hydropattern in the marhes of southeastern ENP and for the downstream embayments of Florida Bay. For the most part water has been moved out of Taylor Slough and to the east into the South Dade Conveyance System (the C-111 and associated canals). Numerous local, state, and Federal agencies are working to find both operational and structural means of improving water deliveries to Everglades NP and Florida Bay (and in fact the entire Everglades Protection Area). Biotic resources within the SICS study area include federally listed species such as the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (CSSS), American Crocodile, Wood Stork, and Roseatte Spoonbill, to name but a few. The CSSS has it's largest colony within the northwestern portion of the SICS study area with smaller colonies to the north and east of Taylor Slough. Ecological simulation models of the CSSS (and other important ecological components of the south Florida landscape) have been developed as part of BRD's Across Trophic Level System Simulation program (ATLSS). The ATLSS program is currently being expanded to include the mangrove forests along the coast of ENP. The ATLSS models have been an integral part of assessing thc various restoration scenarios proposed under the Central and South Florida Project Comprehensive Review (the "Restudy"). This ecological synthesis project will integrate the numerous autecological floral and faunal studies which have been conducted over the years within the SICS area. Particular attention will be paid to defining and constructing longterm datasets which will have the potential to measure changes and be integrated with the hydrodynamic models currently being developed. These datasets, when fully developed, will be used to assess change within the study area as related to past management practices and to guide the development of future environmental management scenarios as related to the Central and South Florida Project Review. Importantly, linkages will be developed between WRDs hydrological modelling efforts within thc SICS area and the BRD's ATLSS modelling program. This linkage is crucial because both the SICS hydrology model and the ATLSS ecology models operate at a spalial resolution much finer than, the South Florida Water Management Model (SFWMM). SFWMM operates at a 2x2 mile grid cell resolution. Both ATLSS mud SICS operate at approximately a 500x500m resolution. Thus ATLSS and SICS have the ability to differentiate environmental factors at finer, and thus more accurate resolution.

(Note: this is a new project for 1999.)

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Script last updated: 30 January 2014 @ 12:44 PM by THF. Record creator: BJM. Record last updated by: LJT.