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Project Summary Sheet

U.S Geological Survey, South Florida Ecosystem Program: Place Based Studies

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

Web Site: http://time.er.usgs.gov/

Location: Central Everglades (including Florida Bay)

Principal Investigator: Raymond W. Schaffranek (USGS/WRD), 703-648-5891, rws@usgs.gov, Thomas J. Smith III (USGS/BRD), 305-348-1267, tom_j_smith@usgs.gov

Project Personnel: Ami L. Riscassi, 703-648-5877, Eric D. Swain, 305-717-5825, edswain@usgs.gov, Donald L. DeAngelis, 305-284-1690, don_deangelis@usgs.gov, (landscape Ecologist)

Other Supporting Organizations: National Park Service/Everglades National Park

Associated Projects: Across Trophic Level System Simulation, (DeAngelis), High Accuracy Elevation Data Collection, (Desmond), Geophysical Mapping of Freshwater/Saltwater Interface, (Fitterman), Evapotranspiration Measurements and Modeling, (German) Groundwater-Surface Water Exchange Fluxes, (Harvey), Geology and Ecological History of "Buttonwood Ridge" (Holmes), Freshwater Flows into Northeastern Florida Bay, (Hittle and Patino), Vegetative Resistance to Flow, (Jenter & Schaffranek), Land Characteristics from Remote Sensing, (Jones), Land Margin Ecosystem Program (Smith) , Southern Inland and Coastal Systems Model Development, (Swain), Ecosystem History (Willard)

Overview & Status: The purpose of this interdisciplinary synthesis project is to identify and document the interrelation of Everglades hydrology and the tidal dynamics of Florida Bay on ecosystem response to past alterations, both natural and human imposed, to help guide future restoration actions. In the historical component, floral and faunal records are being analyzed and correlated with the hydrologic record for the last 70 years as determined by isotopic analysis. These records indicate that much of the development along the mangrove fringe has occurred within the last 50 years and appears to be the result of hydrological changes not sea level rise. In the hydrological component, past regional hydroperiods are being reconstructed from water-level records and numerical simulations to investigate correlations to natural and imposed changes and anthropogenic influences. Daily hydroperiod maps generated from water-level records obtained from 31 stations for the 1995-present time period are in development and a presentation of the approach and preliminary status of the analyses was recently made at the Spring Meeting of AGU. In the ecological component, hindcast simulations of historical flow events are being developed for ecological analyses. The Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) ecological modeling team is collaborating with the SICS hydrologic modeling team to develop the necessary hydrologic inputs for refined indicator species models. A two-year SICS hydrologic simulation is being developed and prepared for input to the development of an ATLSS crocodile model.

Needs & Products: This project is addressing the need to identify hydrological and ecological changes linked to historical management practices to help guide future restoration actions. This synthesis project is documenting the timing of past hydrological and ecological changes in the southern Everglades interface with Florida Bay in the historical component, reconstructing past hydroperiods in the hydrological component, and investigating the correlation of key human-imposed and natural impacts on hydrological changes to shifts in biotic species in the ecological component. The primary objectives are to identify the historical effects of past management practices on this combined freshwater and marine ecosystem, to integrate refined hydrological and ecological modeling efforts at indicator species levels to identify cause-and-effect relationships, and to produce a comprehensive report that documents findings that link hydrological and ecological changes to management practices, wherever evident. A USGS Circular report, FACT sheet, and journal articles are planned products.

Application to Everglades Restoration: The project is focused on integrating historical, hydrological, and ecological findings of ongoing scientific investigations within the Southern Inland and Coastal Systems (SICS) region encompassing the transition zone between the wetlands of Taylor Slough and C-111 canal and nearshore embayments of Florida Bay.

Study Milestones

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2005

Familiarity

       

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Design

       

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Field Work

       

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Data Analysis

       

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Initial Reporting

         

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Credibility Assurance

         

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Results Published

             

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Synthesis

             

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Note: "x" indicates task completed, "o" indicates task planned, but not completed


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Last updated: 24 April, 2014 @ 12:00 PM (KP)