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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: Across Trophic Level Systems Simulation (ATLSS) Program

Web Sites: ATLSS.ORG

Location (Subregions & Counties): The total system

Funding (Source): USGS Place-Based Studies

Principal Investigator: Donald L. DeAngelis, Phone: 305-284-1690 e-mail:

Project Personnel: Donald L. DeAngelis, Phone: 305-284-1690 e-mail:

Supporting Organizations: USGS/BRD, NPS, ACE, EPA, USFWS, SFWMD

Associated / Linked Projects: Component of ATLSS Program

Overview & Status: The major objective of the USGS's ATLSS (Across Trophic Level System Simulation) Project is to compare the relative differences between alternative hydrologic scenarios on the biotic components of the Greater Everglades ecosystem. The goal is to provide a rational, scientific basis for ranking the hydrologic scenarios as input to the planning process, and through this to aid development of appropriate monitoring and adaptive management schemes. ATLSS is constructed as a multimodel, meaning that it includes a collection of linked models for various physical and biotic systems components of the Greater Everglades. This landscape modeling approach is the work of USGS scientists and collaborators from several universities. The ATLSS models are all linked through a common framework that allows for the necessary interaction between spatially-explicit information on physical processes and the dynamics of organism response across the landscape. This includes a common hydrology and vegetation map. The ATLSS models include Spatially-Explicit Species Index (SESI) models, and dynamic models for the distribution of functional groups of fish across the freshwater landscape, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, the snail kite, the white-tailed deer, the Florida panther and various wading bird species.

Needs & Products: The most important need in Greater Everglades restoration is the ability to predict the relative effects of different alternative restoration plans, compared with the based case of no restoration. ATLSS models attempt to fill that role with respect to a number of important species and functional groups in the Everglades. The most important future general directions for the ATLSS project are the following: (1) testing and validation of models, (2) making the models easier to use by client agencies, (3) development of models for vegetative succession, and (4) development and testing of selected new models where there are critical needs determined by performance measures.

Application to Everglades Restoration: The role of USGS's ATLSS Program is to predict the effects of changes in water management on Greater Everglades species and biological communities, as an aid to identifying and selecting those changes most needed and most effective for the restoration effort. The ATLSS integrated suite of models has been used extensively for that purpose in Everglades Restoration planning. In particular, it has been used in the evaluation of the effects of Restudy, ModWaters, and C-111 hydrology scenarios on key biota. 

Study Milestones
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Familiarity   x x                
Design   x x x              
Field Work     x x x x x o o o  
Data Analysis     x x x x x o o o  
Initial Reporting     x x              
Quality Assurance     x x x x x o o o  
Results Published     x x x x x o o o  
Synthesis       x x x x o o o  
Note: "x" indicates task completed during quarter, and "o" indicates task planned, but not completed

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Last updated: 24 April, 2014 @ 12:45 PM (KP)