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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: Development of Selected Model Components of an Across-Trophic-Level System Simulation (ATLSS) for the Wetland Systems of South Florida

Web Sites: ATLSS.ORG

Location (Subregions & Counties): The total system

Funding (Source): USGS Place-Based Studies

Principal Investigator: Louis J. Gross, The Institute for Environmental Modeling (TIEM), University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-1610 Phone: 865-974-4295 e-mail:

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

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

Associated / Linked Projects: Component of ATLSS Program, SFWMD Hydrology and Environmental Modeling; USGS National Wetlands Research Center

Overview & Status: The ongoing goals in this project have been the following. 1) As part of the ATLSS Program combine biological and physical models using multiple approaches, including trophic system components at differing spatial and temporal scales, to estimate landscape-level responses of biotic systems to environmental changes. 2) Produce models capable of using detailed behavioral and physiological data and dynamically linking these with spatially-explicit abiotic information. 3) Produce models capable of generating testable hypotheses about trophic component responses to alternative possible anthropogenic influences. ATLSS provides a mechanism to evaluate the relative impacts of alternative hydrologic scenarios on various trophic components. The methodology to integrate components involves: 1) a landscape structure for dynamic communication between models; 2) a high-resolution topography to estimate high-resolution water depth across the landscape; and, 3) a variety of visualization tools to aid model development, validation, and comparison to field data.

Needs & Products: This project has demonstrated the capacity to carry out rapid forward-looking ecological assessments of alternative management plans by providing numerous linked models, which project the impacts of hydrologic plans. Major needs are: (1) Further efforts to modify, evaluate and validate the models developed to date by comparing ATLSS model results using the latest hydrological calibration/validation data to new field data on various species; (2) Complete efforts to make the model results readily available as needed for new restoration planning efforts, in particular by continuing efforts to have the capability to carry out model simulations locally at various agencies in South Florida; (3) Continue collaborations with other USGS units to expand ATLSS to estuarine areas; (4) Continue collaborations with USGS NWRC to include all ATLSS model outputs within the ATLSS Dataviewer; (5) Continue ongoing management of the ATLSS.ORG web site and the wide variety of model results maintained there; (6) Continue development of new model components including a vegetation succession, estuarine fish, crayfish SESI, and new high resolution topography and hydrology.

Application to Everglades Restoration: The ATLSS project links detailed biotic models with spatially-explicit abiotic data at regional extents, in order to provide a scientifically-defensible basis for regional planning that accounts for the complexity of biotic responses from individual-organism levels to that of communities. ATLSS models were applied extensively in analyzing Restudy and Mod Water plans. ATLSS results make up the majority of one of the two CDROMs, which comprise the Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement of the Restudy. Publications about the ATLSS project appear in major refereed scientific journals, and ATLSS products are requested regularly by various agencies in South Florida including the South Florida Water Management District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Everglades National Park. The modeling protocols developed at the University of Tennessee are also being utilized by a variety of collaborators to develop other ATLSS models.

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

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