South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)


Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES
Fiscal Year 2012 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Carbon Flux and Greenhouse Gasses of Restored and Degraded Greater Everglades Wetlands: Flux Tower Measurements of Water, Energy and Carbon Cycling in the Big Cypress National Preserve
Study Start Date: FY2011 Study End Date: TBD
Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov/virtual_tour/bigcypress/indexconcho.html
https://sites.google.com/site/floridaetwiki/
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP)
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (USGS GE PES) Program
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Florida Water Science Center
Funding History: FY05 (SFWMD + USGS); FY06 (SFWMD + USGS); FY07 (SFWMD + USGS); FY08 (SFWMD + USGS); FY09 (SFWMD + USGS); FY10 (None), FY11 (PES), FY12 (PES + USGS)
Principal Investigator(s): W. Barclay Shoemaker, Research Scientist, USGS
Study Personnel: Christian Lopez, Dave Sumner, Troy Bernier, Katherine Petty
Supporting Organizations: SFWMD, BCNP
Associated / Linked Studies:

Overview & Objective(s): The project objectives are to:
(1) Quantify key variables in water energy and carbon cycles, such as latent heat flux (the energy equivalent of evapotranspiration), sensible heat flux, incoming solar radiation, net radiation, albedos, Bowen ratios, net ecosystem production (NEP), gross ecosystem production (GEP), and ecosystem respiration.
(2) Understand variability and linkages within water energy and carbon-cycles imposed by both (a) natural processes and (b) secular regional and global stresses, such as changes in hydrology and sea-level rise.
(3) Provide published water energy and carbon cycling data on the South Florida Information Access website (SOFIA) along with meta-data.
(4) Continue scientific collaborations with various federal, state, and local agencies.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs:
Greenhouse gas emissions, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), are commonly linked with increasing global temperatures and rising sea-level. Of particular concern are rates of sea-level rise and carbon cycling including CO2 emissions or "footprints" of urban areas and the capacity of plant communities to absorb and release CO2. Defining and predicting ecosystem response to regional (e.g., freshwater discharge) and global (e.g., sea level rise) environmental change will require empirical baseline data on the functioning of water, energy and carbon cycles within Greater Everglades ecosystems. However, measurements of carbon and surface-energy cycling are sparse over plant communities within Department of Interior (DOI) managed lands in south Florida. Specifically, the quantity of CO2 absorbed or released annually within subtropical forests and wetlands as well as carbon and energy cycling in response to changes in hydrology, salinity, forest-fires and/or other factors are poorly known. To reduce these uncertainties, eddy-covariance flux stations were constructed by the U.S. Geological Survey and South Florida Water Management District in the Big Cypress National Preserve in 2006. Water, energy and carbon fluxes are empirically measured at these stations. The goals of the project are to (1) quantify key variables of interest to researchers and policy makers such as latent heat flux (the energy equivalent of evapotranspiration), sensible heat flux, incoming solar radiation, net radiation, changes in stored heat energy, albedos, Bowen ratios, net ecosystem production (NEP), gross ecosystem production (GEP), ecosystem respiration; (2) understand variability and linkages within water, energy and carbon-cycles imposed by both natural processes and regional / global stresses; and (3) publish project results in USGS reports and peer-reviewed journal papers.

Relevance of the science effort to improving understanding of the ecological and hydrological processes affecting DOI lands and resources:
Defining and predicting ecosystem response to regional (e.g., freshwater discharge) and global (e.g., sea level rise) environmental change will require empirical baseline data on the state and functioning of water, energy and carbon cycles within DOI lands. However, measurements of carbon and surface-energy cycling are sparse over plant communities within DOI managed lands in south Florida. This project intends to measure water and surface energy fluxes within the BCNP. We propose to begin carbon cycling measurements in 2012 and 2013, as time and funding permits. Plant communities selected for study included Pine Upland, Marsh, Cypress Swamp, and Dwarf Cypress. These plant communities are spatially extensive within DOI lands and resources.

The USGS Science in the Decade 2007-2017 Circular 1309 introduces six science based themes. Two science based themes (1) understanding ecosystem and predicting ecosystem change: and (2) climate variability. An important step to understanding critical ecosystems includes monitoring, assessment, and evaluation of trends within the natural ecosystem through the use of objective, scientifically based methods (p. 5). Climate change is an important process to account for, especially as Everglades restoration continues. Circular 1309 highlighted the importance of creating, expanding, and modernizing observation networks using new technologies for long-term observations that respond to climate change (p. 18). This water energy and carbon cycling project will operate and maintain a network of flux towers that can be integrated with other data networks to address ecosystem change and evaluate the impact of climate change on Everglade's restoration. The flux tower network can accommodate new emerging technologies, address relevant scientific inquiries, and promote collaborative science to address ecosystem and climate change.

Recent Products:
(1) Shoemaker, W.B., and Lopez, C.D., and Duever, Michael, 2011, Evapotranspiration over spatially extensive plant communities in the Big Cypress National Preserve, southern Florida, 2007-2010: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5212, 46 pp.
(2) Sumner, D.M., Q. Wu, and C.S. Pathak, 2011, Variability of Albedo and Utility of the MODIS Albedo Product in Forested Wetlands; WETLANDS (2011) 31:229-237 doi: 10.1007/s13157-011-0161-z.
(3) Shoemaker W.B. 2011, Status of Evapotranspiration Measurements in Big Cypress National Preserve, Southwestern Florida, June 24th, 2011, West Palm Beach, Florida. A talk presented for the South Florida Water Management District.
(4) Shoemaker W.B, 2010, Carbon and Water Cycling in Big Cypress National Preserve, A talk presented for NASA and the USGS Priority Ecosystem Studies in Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA, September 2010.
(5) Shoemaker W.B., J. Barr, C. Lopez, and V. Engel, 2010, Carbon Cycling in a Big Cypress National Preserve Marsh, A talk presented for the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Conference in Naples, FL, July 12 - 16th, 2010.
(6) Shoemaker W.B., S. Huddleston, A.M. O'Reilly, and C. Boudreau, 2008. Sensitivity of wetland saturated hydraulic heads and water budgets to evapotranspiration, WETLANDS, Vol. 28, No. 4, December 2008, pp. 1040 - 1047.
(7) Shoemaker W.B., and D.M. Sumner, 2006. Alternate corrections for estimating actual wetland evapotranspiration from potential evapotranspiration, WETLANDS, Volume 26, No. 2, pp. 528 - 543.
(8) Shoemaker W. B., D. M. Sumner, and A. Castillo, 2005. Estimating changes in heat energy stored within a column of wetland surface water and factors controlling their importance in the surface energy budget, WATER RESOUR. RES., 41, W10411, doi: 10.1029/2005WR004037.

Planned Products:
(1) Operate and maintain 4 eddy covariance flux stations in BCNP.
(2) Add water energy and carbon cycling data into the SOFIA database, along with metadata.
(3) Publish a USGS Fact Sheet summarizing project infrastructure and goals.

WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Operate 4 eddy covariance flux stations in BCNP
Task Funding: GE PES
Task Leaders: Christian Lopez Phone: 954-377-5940,
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Barclay Shoemaker, Dave Sumner, Troy Bernier and Katherine Petty

Task Summary and Objectives: Operate 4 eddy covariance flux stations in BCNP. Measured data includes latent heat flux, sensible heat flux, incoming solar radiation, net radiation, albedos, Bowen ratios, soil heat flux, soil water content, soil temperature, water temperature, air temperature, and relative humidity. This task will require planning and executing monthly field runs for data downloading and instrumentation repair; loading data into QAQC spreadsheets; running EdiPro software scripts to QAQC eddy covariance data; uploading data into the SOFIA database; and preparing meta-data. Participation in scientific analysis and drafting of reports and journal papers also is requested.

Title of Task 2: Install methane sensor and other carbon cycling sensors, as available
Task Funding: GE PES and USGS WRD
Task Leaders: Dave Sumner and Christian Lopez
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High

Task Summary and Objectives: A methane sensor was purchased by the USGS Florida Water Science Center with working capital funds. The methane sensor will be installed in FY2012 at the Marsh flux station in BCNP.

Title of Task 3: Publish a USGS Fact Sheet
Task Funding: GE PES
Task Leaders: Barclay Shoemaker
Phone: 954-377-5956,
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High

Task Summary and Objectives:
Publish a USGS Fact Sheet summarizing (a) project infrastructure, (b) analysis of key variables such as albedos and Bowen ratios, and (c) future project plans.