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Project Work Plan

Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies

Project Work Plan FY 2003

A. GENERAL INFORMATION:

Project Title: Mangrove Modeling of Landscape, Stand-level, and Soil-Nutrient Processes for the Everglades Restoration Project
Project start date: December 15, 2000 Project end date: December 30, 2005
Project Funding: Critical Ecosystems Funding Initiative (CESI)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Thomas W. Doyle
Email address: tom_doyle@usgs.gov
Phone: 337-266-8647
Fax: 337-266-8592
Mail address: U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, LA, 70506

Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert R. Twilley
Email address: rrt4630@louisiana.edu
Phone: 337-482-6146 Fax: 337-482-5834
Mail address: Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, P. O. Box 42451, Lafayette, LA, 70504-2451

Other Investigator(s): Dr. Victor H. Rivera-Monroy
Email address: vh_rivera@mail.earthlink.net
Phone: 337-482-6755 Fax: 337-482-5834
Mail address: Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, P. O. Box 42451, Lafayette, LA, 70504-2451

Other Investigator(s): Ken W. Krauss
Email address: kkrauss@usgs.gov
Phone: 337-266-8882 Fax: 337-266-8592
Mail address: U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, LA, 70506

Project Summary:

Land-margin ecosystems (mangrove forests, brackish marshes, and coastal lakes) comprise some 40% of Everglades National Park. They support the important detrital foodwebs, fisheries, and wading bird colonies of the coastal zone. These systems are at the receiving end for the water management decisions made upstream which will impact the spatial distribution, timing, and quantity of freshwater flow. Additional factors which are important include disturbance history related to hurricanes and potential effects of projected sea-level rise. This project integrates the suite of spatial simulation models necessary to evaluate the response of land-margin ecosystems to upstream water management. Included are algorithms and databases of critical processes and spatio-temporal relations operating at the landscape, stand-level, and soil interface. These process and modeling studies are critical to the extended applications of the ATLSS and ELM modeling programs into the land-margin ecosystems of the Everglades. This project provides an integrated suite of vegetation and nutrient resource models of the land-margin ecosystem compatible with and undergirding other restoration models of hydrology and higher trophic levels identified as critical. This modeling project fills the gaps and needs of existing restoration models, ELM and ATLSS, for a vegetation and nutrient dynamics component and complements continuing empirical studies within the land-margin ecosystem of the Everglades restoration program.

The proposed work has eight major objectives:

  • Re-measurement and analysis of mangrove permanent plots 10 years after the passage of Hurricane Andrew to verify forest structure models (SELVA-MANGRO) and to re-calibrate output accordingly.
  • Map historic marsh-mangrove ecotone boundaries in selected southwest Florida regions.
  • Survey land/water datums across the intertidal and develop tidal ebb/flow synoptic functions for incorporation into SELVA-MANGRO.
  • Site quality characterization across the mangrove landscape using ground surveys and research studies, aerial photography, and aerial videography.
  • Develop external SELVA-MANGRO model linkages and WEB-based access to SELVA-MANGRO for Everglades restoration evaluations.
  • Verify HYMAN (hydrology), NUMAN (nutrient/organic matter decomposition), and FORMAN (forest structure/primary productivity) unit ecological simulation models with application to Everglades restoration evaluations.
  • Link SALSA (Hydrology BOX model) to HYMAN and FORMAN models to develop a better link between vegetation response and hydrological fluxes to the Everglades system.
  • Conduct field and greenhouse studies on nutrient biogeochemistry and determine the effects of nutrients and hydroperiod on forest biomass allocation and soil formation.

Project Objectives and Strategy: The proposed work has eight major objectives:

1. Re-measurement and analysis of mangrove permanent plots 10 years after the passage of Hurricane Andrew to verify forest structure models (SELVA-MANGRO) and to re-calibrate output accordingly. Field efforts involve the stem mapping of mangrove forest structure in existing permanent plots (GCC-SOFL) to establish patterns of spatial ingrowth and data accuracies, including tree heights, diameter at breast height, azimuth, distance, crown class, viability status, leaf area, and light (PAR) distribution. This data will be used to initialize MANGRO and test its capability to predict post-hurricane forest recovery and tree growth prior to linking MANGRO to the landscape in SELVA-MANGRO.

2. Map historic marsh-mangrove ecotone boundaries in selected southwest Florida regions. Aerial photography will be interpreted and digitized for a series of historic dates (1952 versus 1992) in selected areas of Everglades National Park and northern boundary areas to establish historic rates and patterns of mangrove encroachment and retreat along ecotone boundaries. Landscape change analysis will be conducted to identify areas of varying degrees of mangrove migration and to relate ecotone dynamics to changes in freshwater drainage, land use, and sea-level rise. The SELVA-MANGRO model will be calibrated and validated to backcast/forecast ecotone migration for historic sea-level and streamflow conditions.

3. Survey land/water datums across the intertidal and develop tidal ebb/flow synoptic functions for incorporation into SELVA-MANGRO. Synoptic surveys are being conducted to determine land/water datums across the coastal zone including prairie, basin forest, riverine fringe, and overwash islands. Elevational relationships will be established and tidal ebb/flow synoptic functions will be determined to refine existing digital elevation models of the coastal zone. Algorithms will be developed for SELVA-MANGRO to predict tidal forcing within the coastal zone.

4. Site quality characterization across the mangrove landscape using ground surveys and research studies, aerial photography, and aerial videography. Available resources including aerial photography, videography, and available radar and satellite imagery will be used to classify a site quality index of mangrove habitat at the landscape level. Ground surveys, research studies, and overflights will be conducted to achieve a representative watershed sampling and to establish classification accuracy and spatial interpolation. Measures of soil fertility, hydrologic and geomorphic setting, sapling productivity (D/H, internode relations), and stand productivity will be gathered as part of a coordinated effort with other projects.

5. Develop external SELVA-MANGRO model linkages and WEB-based access to SELVA-MANGRO for Everglades restoration evaluations. Model linkages will be developed to integrate SELVA-MANGRO with ATLSS model simulations, wherever possible. Direct or indirect programming developments will be devised to pass information across scale as appropriate to establish crosslinks among models. Applications will include predicting changes in ecosystem structure and function of restored waterflow alternatives for different parks and refuges, watersheds, and project locations under different climate change scenarios. Resultant models will be served on the WEB for evaluator access during Everglades restoration planning.

6. Verify HYMAN (hydrology), NUMAN (nutrient/organic matter decomposition), and FORMAN (forest structure/primary productivity) unit ecological simulation models with application to Everglades restoration evaluations. The JABOWA-FORET individual gap models were used as a basic design to develop a model to simulate mangrove forest development (FORMAN). The FORMAN model is an individual-based mangrove succession model that simulates the influence of physical factors on species distribution and productivity on a yearly basis. The HYMAN model is a hydrology model that simulates the mass balance of freshwater and tidal inputs, and calculates porewater and surface salinity. The NUMAN model was developed to simulate the availability of N and P in mangrove soil by coupling the simultaneous effect of productivity and allochthonous inputs of mineral sediments. In brief, the NUMAN model was modified from the SEMIDEC and CENTURY models of soil organic matter for marshes and grasslands, respectively. NUMAN was calibrated with field measurements in the Shark River estuary and estimated rates of several processes including N mineralization, P accumulation from exogenous sources, and export of organic detritus from mangroves to coastal waters. FORMAN and NUMAN models were calibrated with sites along the Shark River estuary as well, but the models need to be verified on other mangrove plots in the south Florida region. In addition, there are several key parameters that have been identified for each model that are the focus of current field and mesocosm studies. These parameters are important in the use of FORMAN and NUMAN models to evaluate critical restoration scenarios proposed within CESI.

7. Link SALSA (Hydrology BOX model) to HYMAN and FORMAN models to develop a better link between vegetation response and hydrological fluxes to the Everglades system. One of the past limitations of the SALSA model was that freshwater input comes from cell 12-10 of the South Florida Water Management District’s ELM Model. This cell is the boundary of the spatial model. Also, there are few actual measurements of discharge available for the Shark River estuary, yet, since the development of SALSA in 1998, freshwater discharge has been measured in Tarpon Bay along with additional hydrological parameters along the Shark River. The acquisition of these field data will certainly help to further develop and calibrate the SALSA model and advance potential linkages to the HYMAN model. Further application of the SALSA model in the Taylor River Slough will allow for site-specific comparisons and assist with Everglades restoration evaluations in the southeastern Everglades.

8. Conduct field and greenhouse studies on nutrient biogeochemistry and determine the effects of nutrients and hydroperiod on forest biomass allocation and soil formation. The pool of available nutrients in mangrove soils is a product of several processes that proceed on different time scales: plant production (aboveground and belowground), decomposition of litter fall, mineralization of organic matter, input by rainfall and ground water, sedimentation by tide and runoff, and uptake by plants. The NUMAN model was developed to simulate the availability of N and P in mangrove soil by coupling the simultaneous effect of these processes. Initial modeling efforts revealed some key parameters that need to be calibrated to understand the soil organic matter and nutrient pools along the estuary gradient in southwest Florida. One of these parameters is the allocation and turnover of above- and below-ground biomass of mangrove wetlands related to soil conditions. We will conduct field and mesocosm studies to help understand these processes, since parameterization and calibration of the NUMAN model will have important applications to understanding the impacts of specific restoration scenarios to the long-term sustainability of mangroves under conditions of present sea-level rise.

Potential Impacts and Major Products:

The following deliverables will be completed by the end of this project:

  1. The USGS National Wetlands Research Center and University of Louisiana at Lafayette will provide requested model output to restoration evaluators or direct WEB-based access to evaluators, depending upon the size and type of request.
  2. Several journal articles, reporting on field surveys, model calibration, greenhouse studies, and mapping objectives, will be submitted for publication in various peer-reviewed scientific journals and, in some cases, chapters of Ph.D dissertations.

Collaborators: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida International University (LTER Program)
Clients: National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Florida Water Management District

B. WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: SELVA-MANGRO Upgrades of the Land-Margin Simulation Model of South Florida: Pattern and Process of Landscape/Stand Level Interactions

Task Funding: Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative, Department of Interior
Task Leaders: Thomas W. Doyle and Ken W. Krauss
Phone: 337-266-8647
Fax: 337-266-8592
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: T.W. Doyle

Task Summary and Objectives: This effort complements field and modeling studies conducted under the historic National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Biological Service, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency global change programs as well as concurrent U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and National Park Service-sponsored Everglades restoration initiative studies to enhance the functionality of existing landscape simulation models, ELM and ATLSS, by cross-linking to additional landscape simulation models. Critical data and model products have been identified which complement the ATLSS program needs and model applications as outlined under CESI.

Tasks and objectives provide spatial data, critical processes, and model functions at the landscape, stand-level, and soil-nutrient interface necessary to accomplish a hierarchically integrated modeling component of vegetation relations within the land-margin ecosystem complex complimentary to the objectives of ATLSS. Task 1 defines a top-down approach of the pattern and process of landscape aspects that influence stand-level processes, forest growth, and succession of mangrove and associated marsh/swamp systems. The primary goal includes field and modeling activities to upgrade the functionality of an existing landscape simulation model for south Florida (SELVA-MANGRO) specifically emphasizing the physical forcings and biological qualities of the collective watersheds and estuaries of the larger Everglades landscape.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

A large percentage of the work to be conducted during the remainder of 2001 and into 2002 involves computer programming tasks aimed at increasing the functionality and user friendliness of SELVA-MANGRO. Current efforts are focused on model programming upgrades to the newest version of C++, formatting and serving SELVA-MANGRO on an internally housed WEB server, and verification of model simulations from Everglades mangrove field data summaries.

During this year, we also expect to advance our ecotone mapping efforts considerably. This will include mosaicing 1952 and 1992 aerial photos from selected regions, digitizing ecotone boundaries, and conducting area change analysis.

In order to link forest structural attributes to proposed changes in hydrology, we have installed a series of productivity studies (using mangrove dendrometry as a proxy for growth) along a hydroperiod continuum in southwest Florida that we plan to monitor throughout the next year and beyond. Monitoring will include measurements of growth, porewater salinity, and hydroperiod. Each site has a waterlevel recorder within the mangrove forest that is downloaded quarterly. We also plan to install several field ecophysiological investigations in an attempt to relate flooding effects to a mature tree physiological mechanism (i.e., xylem sap flow) and response, which will create a necessary hydroperiod link to forest stand evaportranspirational and growth characteristics. Seedling growth and physiological characteristics will be measured in greenhouse experiments already underway. Parameters will include biomass partitioning, transpiration, and photosynthetic carbon assimilation.

Planned Outreah:

Specific outreach to the general public include tours and publications provided at the National Wetlands Research Center, where we are constantly giving presentations and technical assitstance to individuals, local school groups, university classes, conservation societies, and sister agencies, state and federal. We are also considering creative ways to serve interactive workshops and web-based access to ecological simulation models for public education and general public use. U.S. Geological Survey fact sheets, scientific papers, magazine articles, scientific meetings, collaborative activities with other government agencies, and interagency meetings are our major sources of professional outreach.

Representative Project Publications/Fact Sheets/Presentations (since project initiation):

Doyle, T.W., T.C. Michot, R.H. Day, and C.J. Wells. 2002. History and Ecology of Mangroves in the Dry Tortugas. USGS Fact Sheet FS-047-02.

Doyle, T.W. 2002. Mangrove Vegetation Modeling: SELVA/MANGRO. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration, Ecological Processes and Modeling Informational Workshop, Nova Southeastern University, May 9-10, Davie, FL.

Doyle, T.W., R. Day, J. Biagas, G. Girod, M. Books, T. Hargis, B. Handley, M. Melder, J. Sullivan, K. Fontenot, and J. Balmat. 2001. Predicting the effects of saltwater marsh and mangrove habitat migration on coastal resources of the Gulf Coast under climate change. Page 38 in Abstracts, An Estuarine Odyssey, 16th Biennial International Estuarine Research Federation Conference, November 4-8, St. Petersburg, FL.

Doyle, T.W., T.C. Michot, R.H. Day, and C.J. Wells. 2001. Recent colonization of mangroves and nesting frigatebirds at Dry Tortugas. Park Science 21: 20-24.

Doyle, T.W., G.F. Girod, and M. Books. In press. Modeling mangrove forest migration along the southwest coast of Florida under climate change induced sea-level rise. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gulf Coast Regional Assessment of Global Climate Change Report .

Doyle, T.W. In press. Predicting future mangrove forest migration in the Everglades under rising sea level. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA.

Doyle, T.W., K.W. Krauss, and C.J. Wells. In prep. Assessing landscape patterns of mangrove forest damage from Hurricane Andrew. Landscape Ecology.

Title of Task 2: The Utility of Mangrove Unit Models (FORMAN, NUMAN, HYMAN) in Support of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan

Task Funding: Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative, Department of Interior
Task Leaders: Robert R. Twilley and Victor H. Rivera-Monroy
Phone: 337-482-6146
FAX: 337-482-5834
Task Status (proposed or active): Active
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: R.R. Twilley

Task Summary and Objectives: The goal of this research program is to further develop the FORMAN and NUMAN models to link community development and biogeochemistry of mangrove ecosystems in the south Florida region. Individual tasks are designed to methodically integrate the FORMAN, NUMAN, and HYMAN models into the existing mangrove research programs of the U.S. Geological Survey with efforts to model the Everglades watershed. The goal is to develop specific guidelines as to how these mangrove unit models can be utilized in the ecosystem and landscape modeling efforts to assess the response of coastal ecosystems to changes in quantity and quality of freshwater inputs from the upland watershed. A large part of the effort will be to demonstrate to the various research and management groups associated with the Everglades restoration effort the utility of these mangrove unit models in projecting the impacts of land use change on mangrove wetlands.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

After building a user-friendly C++ interface for each of the NUMAN (organic matter decomposition), FORMAN (primary productivity), and HYMAN (hydrology) models during May to August 2002, we will focus our efforts on connecting all these models within a general mangrove model (MANGAL). We are planning to make the MANGAL model locally available (C++ platform), although will be exploring the possibility of internet-based access similar to the SELVA-MANGRO model (Task 1). We will be developing new interactions among the three sub-models and validating parameters based on information gathered during ongoing field studies in the Shark and Taylor River Sloughs. Field studies to calibrate MANGAL will include measuring mangrove primary productivity (monthly litter fall collections), fine root production (ingrowth cores), sedimentation rates (lead and cesium isotopes), soil and pore water nutrient concentrations, and hydroperiod. These studies are also part of the LTER project (2000-2003) coordinated by Florida International University.

Given the importance of hydrology as a major component of the restoration plan for the Everglades region, we will continue our efforts to develop box models. These box models are useful to evaluate changes in salinity and hydroperiod as freshwater flow is modified upstream. We will continue validating a box model for the Shark River (SALSA) using data collected during dry and rainy conditions from 2001-2003, and building a similar model for Taylor River Slough. For the Taylor River Slough box model, we will be collaborating with Dr. W. K. Nuttle (Cadmus Group) and Dr. Chris Madden (SFWMD).

We will also continue greenhouse experiments testing the effects of salinity, water level, nitrogen concentrations, and phosphorous concentrations on seedling growth rates for Laguncularia racemosa, Rhizophora mangle, and Avicennia germinans. These experiments will provide growth functions for the productivity module (FORMAN) of the MANGAL model. In addition, we will be continuing our field studies of mangrove forest structure to determine succession patterns along the Shark and Taylor Rivers to verify FORMAN and MANGAL model outputs. Conceptual models of mangrove successional patterns are critical in selecting performance measures for the "Mangrove" component of the RECOVER monitoring and assessment program.

Planned Outreach:

Outreach will be accomplished mainly through participation in workshops and professional conferences, as well as through fact sheets and peer-reviewed publications.

Representative Project Publications/Fact Sheets/Presentations (since project initiation):

Cardona-Olarte, P. and R.R. Twilley. 2001. Quantifying the responses of neotropical mangrove saplings to the salinity-hydroperiod interaction. Page 21 in Abstracts, An Estuarine Odyssey, 16th Biennial International Estuarine Research Federation Conference, November 4-8, St. Petersburg, FL.

Twilley, R.R. and V.H. Rivera-Monroy. 2001. Utility of mangrove unit models for restoration projects. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Center for Ecology and Environmental Technology, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA.


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