USGS - science for a changing world

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)


projects > effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: integrating data and models for the ten thousand islands and everglades > project summary

Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES) and ENP's CESI

Fiscal Year 2006 Project Summary Report

Study Title: Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades
Study Start Date: 1 February 2006 Study End Date: 30 September 2008
Web Sites: http://cars.er.usgs.gov/Manatees/manatees.html -
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Total System - Ten Thousand Islands NWR, Collier County; Everglades National Park, Monroe County.
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GEPES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): We have potential complementary funding pending from FWS.
Funding History: Newly funded for FY06
Principal Investigators: Catherine Langtimm, Brad Stith, Eric Swain, James Reid, Daniel Slone
Study Personnel: Melinda Wolfert, Robert Renken, Susan Butler (USGS contract), Skip Snow (ENP), Terry Doyle (USFWS-TTINWR), Robert Dorazio (USGS), Eduardo Patino (USGS), Jeremy Decker (USGS)
Supporting Organizations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge; National Park Service - Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission - Florida Marine Research Institute
Associated / Linked Studies: This study is an extension of the PES study “Predicting effects of hydrologic restoration on manatees along the southwest coast of Florida”, which focused on the TTI region. This extends the research to a larger region. (Sofia website: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/manatees/ ). Additional linkages to other studies/databases include TIME model, ATLSS model, and associated PES/CESI studies including “Southwest Florida Coastal and Wetland Systems Monitoring Project” (E. Patino) (http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/sys_monitor/ ).

Overview & Objective: A significant population of the endangered West Indian manatee occurs in southwest Florida, throughout extensive estuarine and coastal areas within the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI; managed primarily by FWS) and Everglades National Park (ENP; managed by NPS). Planned restoration activities for the Everglades and Picayune Strand (an Acceler-8 project which discharges into TTI) may impact manatees by changing availability of freshwater for drinking, the quality and availability of seagrass forage, and the quality and availability of passive thermal basins used for refuge from lethal winter cold fronts. We expect changes in freshwater availability and forage to result in a shift in manatee distribution, which could necessitate new management actions to reduce human-manatee interactions. Restoration also could negatively impact important passive thermal refugia by increasing cold sheet flow during winter or disrupting haloclines that maintain warm bottom layers of salty water. Recent telemetry and aerial survey studies of manatees in TTI have revealed much about their use of this area: this project will extend the study into ENP, where manatees have not been intensively studied. To ascertain how restoration may affect the distribution and abundance of manatees in the region, an individual-based model has been under development, but completion of that model requires a hydrologic model for the rivers and estuaries affected by the accelerated Picayune Strand restoration. Both salinity and heat transport capabilities are needed in the hydrologic model. The coupled surface-water/ground-water code developed for the TIME model is ideal for this application. This study will provide integrated regional hydrologic models covering nearly the entire southwest coast below Naples, including portions of Picayune Strand and Big Cypress, providing much needed hydrologic modeling capabilities for evaluating restoration effects on coastal, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems. This effort will enable us to model manatee response to restoration, and more adequately address science and management needs. Three Tasks will be undertaken to develop the necessary components for this regional model: (TASK 1) Link the TIME hydrology model and the ATLSS manatee model to assess restoration effects in the Everglades and Picayune Strand, (TASK 2) Model changes to manatee thermal refugia due to hydrological restoration, (TASK 3) Design and implement a regional manatee monitoring program using aerial surveys and use robust statistical analysis techniques to estimate manatee distribution and abundance before restoration.

Status:

Newly funded in FY06. Task 1 and 2 were initiated in FY06. In FY07 work on these tasks will continue and Task 3 will be initiated.

Recent & Planned Products

Delivered:

Swain, E., and B.M. Stith. 2006. Numerical modeling of heat and salinity transport for West Indian manatee habitats in southwest Florida. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, 5-9 June 2006, Orlando Florida. [Presentation]

Stith, B.M., C.A. Langtimm, E. Swain, J. Reid. 2006. Linking a manatee individual-based model with the TIME hydrology model to assess restoration effects in the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, 5-9 June 2006, Orlando Florida. [Presentation]

Langtimm, C.A., J. P. Reid, D. H. Slone, B. M. Stith, E. D. Swain, T. Doyle, R. Snow. 2006. Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: A research program to integrate data, models and long-term monitoring across the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, 5-9 June 2006, Orlando Florida. [Poster]

PES-CESI 2006 work plan. Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades. http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/workplans06/integrating_manatee.html

Metadata Record. Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades.

SOFIA Project Page. Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades. http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/integrating_manatee/

PES-CESI 2007 work plan. Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades

Planned:

Langtimm, C. A., et al. CESI 2006 annual progress report to ENP. 30 December 2006. Effects of hydrological restoration on manatees: Integrating data and models for the Ten Thousand Islands and Everglades

Stith, B. M., E. Swain, J. P. Reid, and C. A. Langtimm. January 2007. Presentation of progress and preliminary findings in FY2006. Meeting with USFWS.

Swain, E., J. Decker, et al. Incorporation of heat transport in a linked surface-groundwater model. Professional journal publication.

Stith, B. M., C. A. Langtimm. Estimation of manatee movement probabilities among habitat types for implementation into a spatially-explicit, individual-based model. Professional journal publication.

Stith, B. M. Individual-based, spatially-explicit manatee model: application to the Everglades restoration. Professional journal publication.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs:

This study will provide integrated regional hydrologic models covering nearly the entire southwest coast below Naples, including portions of Picayune Strand and Big Cypress, providing much needed hydrologic modeling capabilities for evaluating restoration effects on coastal, estuarine, and freshwater ecosystems. This study also will address two of the three overarching restoration questions in the DOI Science Plan. First, what actions will recover South Florida threatened and endangered species? The models produced will allow the effects of hydrologic modifications to the system to be evaluated in terms of the factors which affect manatees and other estuarine species sensitive to these factors. Second, what actions will improve the quantity, timing, and distribution of clean fresh water needed to restore the South Florida ecosystem? To determine the quantity, timing, and distribution needed in manatee habitats, a comparison of CERP restoration scenarios is needed. Additionally, the Tasks in this study will address three questions identified as priorities under Science Integration and Synthesis Questions for the FY06 and FY07 funding initiative:

  1. Synthesis of regional scale information and model development are needed that integrate and depict key factors of landscape change and their effects on the hydrology, biology, geology, and geography of the landscape, together with the identification of how policy, regulatory, and management strategies of national parks and refuges may influence these effects. Conceptual models and potential management options need to be developed with stakeholders. (TASKS 1, 2, 3).
  2. Research to understand the impacts of restoration projects on hydrology, habitats, and wildlife within Ten Thousand Islands NWR and Everglades National Park. (TASKS 1, 2, 3).
  3. Collection and synthesis of data for the verification and calibration of hydrologic and ecological models used for ecosystem assessment and restoration planning including those developed through the ATLSS program. (TASK 3).

Potential impacts: The endangered Florida manatee is a high priority species for management and recovery by USFWS and Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In addition to concerns about the impact of restoration on manatees, the TTI/ENP region is the last major manatee habitat with minimal information on manatee population status. The results of this work will provide invaluable information to managers. The hydrology model provides data for the individual-based and landscape-based manatee models; defining the flow, salinity, and temperature information needed to model manatee movement and distribution. Comparisons of CERP restoration alternatives and associated alterations to the flow system in the hydrology model will show how habitat conditions change spatially and temporally. These hydrologic variables in turn will drive the individual-based model, which will project changes in manatee distribution and abundance across the region. In addition, the development of techniques and formulations for the heat-transport modeling is applicable to other ecological analyses that depend on temperature. Robust aerial surveys and analysis will provide the means to monitor impact as the restoration proceeds and provide independent data for validation of the model.

Key Finding:

  1. Development of a heat transport formulation for the hydrology model, based on field collected energy budget data, produced a realistic calibration. The formulation of the heat budget terms has been greatly facilitated by information available from field sites in the area. The newly incorporated bulk formulas for latent and sensible heat transfer have used coefficients evaluated from field-measured heat flux data with success. Experimentation with the numerical model has allowed improvement in the way measured wind speed is used to represent convection in these formulations. The incorporation of soil heat storage underlying the wetlands was found to be an essential component in the proper representation of heat transport.
  2. Initial comparison of the heat transport model to manatee winter distribution data indicated a reasonable correlation. Simulations indicate that during the coldest periods, only small isolated areas along the Everglades National Park coast retain enough heat to be good manatee refugia. This corresponds well to the manatee behavior observed in the same time periods.
  3. Telemetry data from previous and recently tagged manatees are providing insights on manatee movement and site-specific habitat use in the southern Everglades. These include identification of previously unknown winter use sites and seasonal migration patterns, as well as major variability among individuals in site fidelity, home range size, and movement among habitat types (offshore, inshore bays, and rivers). These movement patterns have been successfully analyzed with multi-state, capture-recapture statistics to quantify transition probabilities. The transition matrices have been implemented within the manatee individual based models.



| Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Accessibility |

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/summary_sheets06/hydro_manatees.html
Comments and suggestions? Contact: Heather Henkel - Webmaster
Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(TJE)