projects > impacts of hydrological restoration on three estuarine communities > work plan
Project Work Plan
Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies
Project Work Plan FY 2003
A. GENERAL INFORMATION:
Project start date: Oct 98 Project end date: Sep 03
Co-Principal Investigator: Lynn W. Lefebvre (through an allied project on manatees: separate submission)
Project Summary: This project is quantifying baseline conditions of mangrove-associated (fish) fauna, and of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) prior to planned Everglades restoration activities. The major hypothesis related to controls of mangrove-associated fish along complex environmental gradients as exemplified in Shark River Slough is that fish species composition and biomass is correlated with patterns of tidal flooding, primary productivity of mangroves, sediment characteristics, and salinity variability. A key hypothesis related to presence/absence and abundance of SAV in riverine and lagoonal habitats (Shark River, Lostmans River) is that substrate type, sediment depth, sediment nutrients, amount of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and water velocity are key predictors.
Project Objectives and Strategy: The objectives are to provide quantitative baseline on key community components prior to hydrological modifications in the Shark River catchment. Through co-location of sites, the mangrove fish component is closely tied into fish studies as part of GCC project as well as into a long-term network of hydrological and plant ecology studies of mangrove forests of Dr. T.J. Smith. The SAV component has the new added advantages: it uses Lostmans River as a "control" for baseline conditions in the Shark River as the former will be less impacted by restoration activities; and this work will provide the basis for extending the present empirical model of controls on SAV distribution from Florida Bay up the Southwest coast.
Potential Impacts and Major Products: The data generated by this project is being used in models (hydrological and ecological) for gauging restoration success. The data are also being used in the formulation of Performance Measures.
B. WORK PLAN
Title of Task 1: Fisheries productivity in relation to physicochemical, hydrological and biological factors.
Task Leaders: C.C. McIvor
Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Fish sampling stations have been established at four sites along the Shark River from the fresh marshes near the upstream mangrove ecotone to a site near the mouth of Shark River. Samples have been, and will continue to be taken every two months from replicate nets and two methods at all but the fresh marsh site. This latter site has posed logistical problems that will be addressed with increased fervor in the upcoming year. The objectives in the next fiscal year are to use a range of multivariate statistical techniques to tease apart the roles played by the multiple of environmental factors present along this complex transect. We will also upgrade enclosure net gear to improve capture efficiency, and add experimental field units to measure growth and survival rates of selected key fish species along this gradient.
Planned Outreach: We will give both oral and poster presentations at scientific meetings. Reports and products will be provided to client agencies. Additionally, a seminar will be given to the resource management staff at Everglades NP.
Title of Task 2: Controls of distribution and abundance of submerged aquatic vegetation (Shark and Lostmans Rivers)
Task Leaders: Jim Fourqurean
Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: During FY2002, Dr. Fourqurean was on sabbatical leave in Spain. The master's student did considerable planning and preliminary work, but the field surveys will begin in late FY2002 with a no-cost extension to carry work though the remainder of the hydrological year. Throughout the 12-month period the following will be accomplished: SAV and associated physicochemical parameters will be sampled in both wet and dry seasons from the two rivers and their coastal embayments using a stratified random design. The empirical seagrass model currently in use for Florida Bay will be extended up the SW coast as the data permit. Additional funding will be sought to improve data density and spatial resolution.
Planned Outreach: Subcontractors will give both oral and poster presentations at scientific meetings. Reports and products will be provided to client agencies. Additionally, a seminar will be given to the resource management staff at Everglades NP. This portion of the GCC project constitutes the planned masters thesis of a student at Florida International University, Miami.