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projects > the role of aquatic refuges in the wetland complex of southern florida in relation to system restoration

The Role of Aquatic Refuges in the Wetland Complex of Southern Florida in Relation to System Restoration

photo of a channel through mangroves
Project Investigator: William Loftus

Project Personnel: Mac Kobza, Joel Trexler, Sue Perry, Kevin Cunningham

Project Start Date: 1999 End Date: 2002


Summary

The objectives of the study are to help define the seasonal movements of fishes in the region in relation to hydrology to provide data for modeling the interactions of hydrology, geology, and aquatic organisms.

Please note - this is a completed project.

This is a companion project to a NPS dispersal study. The Rocky Glades habitat of the South Florida ecosystem is poorly understood biologically. The highly eroded landscape offers dry-season refuge to aquatic animals through access to ground water via solution holes. This region is a high priority for restoration because it is the largest remnant short-hydroperiod wetland in the eastern Everglades, a habitat that has been disproportionately disturbed by drainage and land conversion.

We are defining fish and macro-invertebrate composition, movements, and ecology in surface and near-surface subterranean aquatic habitats. We are also cooperating to define the habitat/topographic characteristics that make this region unique. Our objectives are to help define the seasonal movements of fishes in the region in relation to hydrology to provide data for modeling the interactions of hydrology, geology, and aquatic organisms.

We are addressing the question of how the seasonality of hydrology affects the dynamics of animal movements in and out of, and residence times in, surface-water habitats and ground-water refuges? We are collaborating with a USGS hydrogeologist to describe the subsurface geology to locate likely places where we can sample for truly hypogean fauna under DOI lands and under the Atlantic Coastal Ridge. We are studying the life history of the Miami Cave Crayfish in this study, one member of a unique subterranean fauna in south Florida that may be affected by management actions.

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Script last updated: 22 August 2014 @ 06:07 PM by THF. Record creator: BJM. Record last updated by: KP.