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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies

Fiscal Year 2002 Project Summary Sheet

Project: Long-Term Aquatic Biota Database Analysis

Web Sites: (see;

Location (Subregions & Counties): Central Everglades; Miami-Dade, Broward

Funding (Source): Base funding to USGS-BRD, Florida Caribbean Science Center; Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative (CESI) funding to FIU

Principal Investigators: Sue Perry, 305.242.7885,

Project Personnel: Joel Trexler, 305.348.1966,; William F. Loftus, 305.242.7835.

Supporting Organizations: Collecting permits — NPS and FFWCC

Associated / Linked Projects: ATLSS (USGS study); Everglades Restudy (RECOVER); CESI study: Experimental Studies of Predator and Prey Interactions

Overview & Status: In this recently completed cooperative project, we have tested innovative statistical techniques that allow us to extract the most information from the long-term aquatic-animal databases collected by NPS, BRD, and FIU. Our goal was to examine temporal and spatial patterns in the Everglades marsh communities, particularly in relation to water management, physical changes to the ecosystem, and to drought, flood, and hurricane disturbance. This information is being used to evaluate past responses of the aquatic communities to hydrology and disturbance, and have been instrumental in demonstrating the deleterious effects of past management actions in the Everglades Protection Area. The exhaustive analyses provide information needed to guide restoration and to plan the future monitoring network for aquatic animals in RECOVER. The databases have already produced a series of publications including inventories of the fishes and herpetofauna, dynamics of the fish and plant communities, and have been used to build the first ATLSS fish model.

Needs & Recent Products: In addition to the 10 publications and book chapters that have resulted from the long-term data collections, the final products include several publications that describe the analytical methods used to discern the patterns of abundance and community dynamics, and the results of those analyses. 1) Trexler, J. C. and W. F. Loftus. 2001. Analysis of relationships of Everglades fish with hydrology using long-term databases from Everglades National Park. Final report to Everglades National Park under FIU Cooperative Agreement CA5280-8-9003. 101 pages; 2) Trexler, J. C., W. F. Loftus, and J. H. Chick. In Press. Setting and Monitoring Restoration Goals in the Absence of Historical Data: Monitoring Fishes in the Florida Everglades. In D. Busch and J. C. Trexler (Editors). Monitoring ecoregional initiatives: interdisciplinary approaches for determining status and trends of ecosystems. Island Press, Washington, DC. 3) Several Posters/presentations at scientific meetings.

Application to Everglades Restoration: Project results, in the form of data, model rules, and life-tables, are being used to improve the ATLSS fish model. The use of the experimental data from the mesocosm study will enhance the interpretation of these time-series data from our research and monitoring projects, before and during restoration, by explaining the processes behind the patterns in the field data. The long-term data are also being used to develop the Conceptual models and Performance Measures for RECOVER, and these communities will be used to monitor the progress of restoration actions.

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

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