USGS - science for a changing world

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)


projects > empirical studies in support of florida bay and adjacent marine ecosystems restoration > project summary


Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)

Fiscal Year 2003 Project Summary Report

Project Title: Empirical Studies in Support of Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Ecosystems Restoration

Project Start Date: October 1, 2002 Project End Date: September 30, 2003 (Continuing)

Web Sites:

Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Florida Bay, Biscayne Bay, Southwest Mangrove Estuaries, Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park

Funding Source: USGS's Greater Everglades Science Initiative (PBS-Enhanced), DOI Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative, SFWMD-Biscayne Bay Partnership Initiative

Principal Investigator: Mike Robblee (USGS)

Co-Principal Investigator(s): Clinton Hittle (USGS); Joan Browder (NMFS); Maria Criales (CIMAS/NMFS); John Wang (UM)

Project Personnel: André Daniels (USGS); David Moore, Leslie James, David Kieckbusch, Vin Difrenna (Contract, JCWS); numerous students (FIU)

Supporting Organizations: Everglades National Park, Florida International University, NMFS/Southeast Fisheries Center,

Associated / Linked Projects: Immigration pathways of pink shrimp postlarvae into and within Florida Bay, PI's Joan Browder, Maria Criales, Mike Robblee, NOAA, Coastal Oceans Program.

Overview & Objective(s): This project supports restoration activities in south Florida by participating in the CERP process and through conducting original research. The Principal Investigator participates in CERP as a member (Seagrass Team Leader) of the Florida Bay Program Management Committee, as a member of the Florida Bay Florida Keys Feasibility PDT and as a member of the RECOVER Southern Estuaries Sub Team. Respectively, the objectives of these activities are broadly: 1) to develop and implement (with other agency members) a program of research to support the restoration of Florida Bay; 2) with other PDT members to develop and evaluate restoration alternatives for Florida Bay and 3) with other committee members to develop performance measures and assess restoration alternatives affecting Florida Bay, Biscayne Bay, Barnes Sound and Manatee Bay and the lower southwest coast mangrove estuaries. Research activities include: 1) the CESI sponsored long-term study entitled "Temporal and spatial variation in seagrass associated fish and invertebrates in Johnson Key Basin, western Florida Bay, with emphasis on the pink shrimp, Farfantepenaeus duorarum"; 2) with Joan Browder the SFWMD sponsored study entitled "Biscayne Bay Coastal and Nearshore Community Baseline Study to Develop Biological Performance Measures" and 3) with Joan Browder, Maria Criales and Clinton Hittle the NOAA sponsored study entitled "Immigration pathways of pink shrimp postlarvae into and within Florida Bay". Respectively, the research objectives can be summarized as: 1) to document long-term responses of the seagrass associated shrimp and fish community in Johnson Key Basin to environmental conditions (e.g. salinity) and changes in seagrass habitat; 2) to develop performance measures relating the fish and crustacean communities of southern Biscayne Bay to salinity and habitat and 3) to evaluate postlarval immigration (seasonal timing and abundance) to and into Florida Bay in relation to environmental conditions and habitat. The pink shrimp is a species of special interest in each of the above studies because it has been chosen as an indicator species for use in restoration of south Florida estuaries. Empirical and experimental data developed in these studies will be used to support the development of a pink shrimp landscape simulation model and restoration performance measures.

Status: CERP related activities are all ongoing. Each research project is on schedule and at least partially funded into FY2004. The Biscayne Bay study will be completed in FY2004. Subject to the availability of funding the Johnson Key Basin study and the postlarval pink shrimp study are scheduled to continue through at least FY2005.

Recent & Planned Products:

  1. Browder, J. A., Z. Zein-Eldin, M. M. Criales, M. B. Robblee, S. Wong, T. L. Jackson and D. Johnson. 2003. Dynamics of pink shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum) recruitment potential in relation to salinity and temperature in Florida Bay. Estuaries 25(6B):1355-1371.
  2. Browder, J. A. and M. B. Robblee. 2003. Faunal density and community composition of the nearshore zone Biscayne Bay biological community performance measures. Fourth Quarterly Report (Part 1), Joint Project C-13401, June 2003. 4 p.
  3. Criales, M. M., J. Wang, J. A. Browder, T. Jackson, M. Robblee and C. Hittle. 2003. Postlarval transport of pink shrimp into Florida Bay. Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida Bay Ecosystem, From Kissimmee to the Keys, Florida Bay Program and Abstracts, April 13-18, 2003, Westin Innisbrook, Palm Harbor, Florida. pp. 196-198.
  4. Cronin, T. M., L. Wingard, J. H. Murray, G. Dwyer and M. Robblee. 2003. Salinity history of Florida Bay: an evaluation of methods, trends, and causes. Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida bay Ecosystem, From Kissimmee to the Keys, Florida Bay Program and Abstracts, April 13-18, 2003, Westin Innisbrook, Palm Harbor, Florida. pp. 19-21.
  5. Kieckbusch, D., M. Robblee, A. Daniels, J. Browder and J. Hall. 2003. Southern Biscayne Bay Nearshore Fish and Invertebrate Community Structure. Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida bay Ecosystem, From Kissimmee to the Keys, GEER Program and Abstracts, April 13-18, 2003, Westin Innisbrook, Palm Harbor, Florida. pp. 306-308.
  6. Matheson, R. E., D. Camp, M. Robblee, G. Thayer, D. Meyer and L. Rozas. 2003. The relationship of seagrass-associated fish and crustacean communities to habitat gradients in Florida Bay. Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida bay Ecosystem, From Kissimmee to the Keys, Florida Bay Program and Abstracts, April 13-18, 2003, Westin Innisbrook, Palm Harbor, Florida. pp. 225-227.
  7. Robblee, M. B., J. A. Browder, M. M. Criales and C. Hittle. 2002. Temporal and spatial variation in seagrass associated fish and invertebrates in Johnson Key Basin, western Florida Bay. Annual Report to Everglades National Park, October 2002. 15 p.
  8. Robblee, M. B. and A. Daniels. 2003. Fish and shrimp in relation to seagrass habitat change in Johnson Key Basin, western Florida Bay (1985-1995). Joint Conference on the Science and Restoration of the Greater Everglades and Florida bay Ecosystem, From Kissimmee to the Keys, Florida Bay Program and Abstracts, April 13-18, 2003, Westin Innisbrook, Palm Harbor, Florida. pp. 230-232.
  9. Robblee, M., J. Browder and T. Schmidt. 2003. Draft Interim Goals for Pink Shrimp, Florida Bay Juvenile Pink Shrimp Density-Tortugas Shrimp Harvest. pp. 12.
  10. Robblee, M. B. and J. A. Browder. 2002. Florida Bay Juvenile Pink Shrimp Density-Tortugas Shrimp Harvest Performance Measure. Everglades National Park, South Florida Natural Resources Center, Florida Bay/Biscayne Bay performance Measure Workshop, February 12-13, Community Bank Conference Room, Homestead, Florida. pp. 12.
  11. Robblee, M. B. in prep. Seagrass-associated fish and shrimp community structure in relation to seagrass habitat change in Johnson Key Basin, western Florida Bay (1985-1995).
  12. Robblee, M. B. in prep. Pink shrimp abundance in western Florida Bay in relation to salinity.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs: The long-term throw-trap sampling of seagrass-associated fish and shrimp, including the pink shrimp, in Johnson Key Basin is the longest benthic baseline database available in Florida Bay (20 years with gaps). The period-of-record of this database includes wet and dry periods in south Florida and seagrass die-off and algal blooms in Florida Bay. The pink shrimp has been selected by CERP as an indicator species and by RECOVER as a performance measure for evaluating restoration activities in Florida Bay. It has proven central to developing the pink shrimp simulation model (information on seasonality, relation to salinity and macrohabitat and seagrass, distribution within Florida Bay, size frequency distribution, etc.) and pink shrimp performance measures and targets (variation in abundance over time and in relation to salinity, relation to Tortugas harvest, etc.). Related studies of postlarval pink shrimp are also critical to developing this model and ultimately the performance measure (seasonality, variation in immigration pathway, relation to environmental conditions and spawning in the Tortugas, etc.). The Florida Bay Research Program has identified the pink shrimp model and performance measure as high priority research needs. MAP has designated the throw-trap fish and invertebrate sampling method for use in a region-wide monitoring program. Proposed is that throw-trap sampling will be coupled with seagrass sampling (FHAP Program, a USGS CESI project) into a south Florida monitoring program stretching from north Biscayne Bay through Florida Bay to Lostmans River. The pink shrimp landscape simulation model and the pink shrimp performance measure being developed here are critical needs in the short-term for the Florida Bay Florida Keys Feasibility Study (Project I, DOI Science Plan) and in the longer-term for MAP (RECOVER Monitoring and Assessment Program). This study, its various activities, contributes to several USGS science objectives in support of Everglades Restoration but particularly 2B-SG1 (understanding ecosystem structure and process) and 2B-SG5 (predicting ecosystem responses).

Key Findings:

  1. Long-term monitoring of juvenile pink shrimp abundance in Johnson Key Basin, western Florida Bay, demonstrates that October shrimp density (approximate annual peak of shrimp abundance) is negatively related salinity, especially at high salinities, however, the relationship is weak and suggesting other factors are involved. Understanding postlarval transport and habitat quality will be necessary to predict juvenile shrimp abundance.
  2. Three years of monthly postlarval sampling at the margins of Florida Bay has established: 1) that immigration is highly seasonal (July-November) in western Florida Bay whereas immigration through the Florida Keys is not obviously seasonal and 2) that postlarval abundance is greater in western Florida Bay (ª70-80%) than through the Florida Keys (ª10-20%).
  3. Fish and invertebrates are most abundant in western Florida Bay associated with seagrass and among the three major macrohabitat types, bank-top, basin and near-key, are most abundant in bank-top habitats. This relationship holds across Florida Bay although there is a distinct gradient of decreasing animal abundance from west to east coinciding with decreasing seagrass abundance and grass canopy development.
  4. Pink shrimp density follows a similar pattern to the general fish and invertebrate pattern (3 above), however, highest pink shrimp densities in Johnson Key Basin occur in shallow water shoal grass, Halodule wrightii, habitats.



| Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Accessibility |

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/summary_sheets03/empstudies.html
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(TJE)