projects > the role of aquatic refuges in the wetland complex of southern florida in relation to system restoration > project summary
Project Summary Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies
Fiscal Year 2002 Project Summary Sheet
Location (Subregions & Counties): Central Everglades; Miami-Dade
Funding (Source): Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI) funding to USGS-BRD, Florida Caribbean Science Center
Principal Investigator(s): William F. Loftus, 305.242.7835, firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Personnel: Victoria Foster, 305-242-7834, email@example.com; Joel Trexler, 305-348-1966, firstname.lastname@example.org; Sue Perry, 305-242-7800, Sue_perry@nps.gov; Kevin Cunningham, 305-717-5813, email@example.com
Supporting Organizations: NPS and FFWCC permits; Logistical support from NPS
Associated / Linked Projects: NPS CESI-funded project "Dispersal and colonization of hydrological refuges by aquatic animals in Everglades National Park"; ATLSS (USGS-BRD program)
Overview & Status: 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.
Needs & Products: Trimester reports, an annual report, and a poster are available. Presentations have been made at scientific meetings. 1) Loftus, W. F., M. C. Bruno, K. J. Cunningham, S. A. Perry, and J. C. Trexler. 2001. The ecological role of the karst wetlands of southern Florida in relation to system restoration, Pages 8-15 IN E. L. Kuniansky (Ed.). U. S. Geological Survey, Karst Interest Group Proceedings, St. Petersburg, FL, Feb, 13-16, 2001. USGS Water Resources Investigations Report 01-4011, Athens, GA.
Application to Everglades Restoration: This series of investigations is of particular relevance to RECOVER, in that we must be able to predict the effects of restoration activities on this region by incorporating information on hydrology, topography, and biology. The studies will provide basic inventory data and ecological information for use in ATLSS simulation models used to plan and evaluate restoration actions during CERP, including performance measures. Presently, data from the Rocky Glades are inadequate to provide effective model inputs.