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projects > past and future impacts of sea level rise on coastal habitats and species in the greater everglades (fischs) > work plan

Project Work Plan

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

Study Title: Past and Future Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Habitats and Species in the Greater Everglades - An Integrated Modeling Approach (Project Acronym: FISCHS)
Study Start Date: 03/1/2009 Study End Date: 9/30/2013
Project Chief: Catherine A. Langtimm
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center
2201 NW 40th Terrace
Gainesville, FL 32605
508-335-3029
clangtimm@usgs.gov

Study Personnel:
Catherine A. Langtimm, Lead PI
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center
clangtimm@usgs.gov, 508-335-3029
Research Wildlife Biologist; Project Chief; coordinates and facilitates integration of the hydrological and ecological models

Eric D. Swain, Co-PI
USGS Florida Water Science Center
edswain@usgs.gov, 954-377-5925
Research Hydrologist; leads development of numerical hydrodynamic models; collaborates on development and integration of the ecological and hydrological models

Melinda Lohmann
USGS Florida Water Science Center
mlohmann@usgs.gov, 954-377-5955
Hydrologist (Eng); hydrology modeler and data development

M. Dennis Krohn, Co-PI
USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
dkrohn@usgs.gov, 727-803-8747 x 3062
Geologist; identifies scenarios and develops parameters for historical hurricanes; collaborates on development and integration of hurricane disturbance with hydrodynamic and ecological models

Donald L. DeAngelis, Co-PI
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center
don_deangelis@usgs.gov, 305-284-1690
Research Ecologist; leads the theoretical development of landscape models that describe processes affecting vegetation change with sea level rise, storm disturbance, and climate change; collaborates on development and integration of the ecological and hydrological models

Thomas J. Smith III, Co-PI
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center
tom_j_smith@usgs.gov, 727-803-8747 x 3130
Research Ecologist; conducts landscape change analyses to test hypotheses on processes affecting habitat and ecosystem response to sea level rise, storm disturbance, fire, and climate change; collaborates on development and integration of the ecological and hydrological models

Bradley M. Stith, Co-PI
Jacobs Technology
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center
bstith@usgs.gov, 352-264-3529
Principle Scientist 1; applies output from the hydrodynamic models to spatially explicit species models (SESI) and habitat suitability index models (HSI) to evaluate change under different model scenarios; collaborates on development and integration of the ecological and hydrological models

Ann M. Foster
USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center
amfoster@usgs.gov, 352-264-3565
Geographer; analyzes historic habitat photographs and quantifies habitat attributes for input to models

Associated / Linked Studies:

Project Location: USA, Florida, Broward-Monroe-Collier-Dade Counties, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Project Web Site(s): Will be developed in FY2012

USGS Global Change Funding History:

Actual: FY09 (0); FY10 (0); FY11 (0). The project had an unusual funding arrangement. BRD agreed to fund the first 3 years of the study under Ecosystems Mapping and GE PES, and fund the last 2 years under Global Change R&D
Anticipated: FY12; FY13

Other Complementary Funding Source(s):
Project title: Past and Future Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Habitats and Species in the Everglades - An Integrated Modeling Approach

Funding sources: Ecosystem Mapping FY09 FY10 FY11; GE PES FY09 FY10 FY11

A. PROJECT OVERVIEW

Objective(s):

This integrated modeling project merges biological and hydrological models to develop tools to help resource management deal with the projected ecological consequences of rising sea level in coastal south Florida. The project builds on prior USGS research in support of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). To develop a realistic suite of predictive models, we are (1) Enhancing a hydrologic model to reliably hindcast multi-decadal observed sea level rise (SLR) phenomena; (2) Developing mechanistic models of coastal vegetation change; (3) Incorporating episodic disturbance from hurricanes; (4) Using the hydrologic models to simulate variables for spatially-explicit population and habitat suitability index models; and (5) Developing futurecasting capability under projected climate change, SLR, and restoration scenarios.

To achieve our goal, we are:

1: Identifying and modelling mechanisms of coastal vegetation change due to alterations of hydrology from natural and man-made events using two approaches.

The first approach extends an existing mechanistic model describing vegetation change at the mangrove-hammock interface induced by hydrologic changes and develops a new model at the mangrove-marsh interface. One consequence of global climate change will be regime changes in coastal vegetation due to salt-water intrusion from sea level rise and from storm surges. Thresholds in salinity gradients in the vadose zone that tip the transition to a new regime have been identified and modeled. New models will include detailed resolution of sub-surface vadose zone hydro-dynamics, tidal and hurricane effects, and population growth, productivity, and mortality.

The second approach modifies an existing hydrologic model to hindcast past hydrology patterns from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s and consequent vegetation change. We are developing the hindcast capability for the TIME model through iterative feedback and integration of existing hydrologic and ecological models. Factors included in the hindcast are documented SLR rates, extreme storm events, historical meteorological data, and history of water delivery in the model domain. Knowledge of hydrological requirements that influence the distribution and abundance of mangroves, marshes, hardwoods, and tidal flats observed in historical air photos will be used to calibrate the hydrological model to simulate output providing conditions known to support the documented vegetation types.

2: Identifying areas along the coast vulnerable to future SLR effects.

To provide resource managers with information on areas most vulnerable to SLR, we are using historical charts and aerial photos to determine vulnerable areas or "hot spots" of past shoreline and vegetation change. Observed patterns of change will be related to parameters in the hydrologic model hindcasts to identify processes determining past vulnerability as a clue to what may be expected with future SLR.

3: Developing a predictive SLR hydrology-ecology model.

We are developing futurecast capability based on experience with the hindcast model. We are incorporating different scenarios of projected SLR, regional climate parameters downscaled from global models, restoration options from CERP, and a set of extreme weather events that can be targeted to areas of a manager's choice. Output from the predictive models is being used as input into a Florida manatee and seagrass model to demonstrate the application to spatially-explicit species models and habitat suitability models.

Highlights and Key Findings:

Relevance:

We build on previous USGS research and modeling in support of CERP to develop integrated hydrologic-ecologic models to hindcast as well as futurecast effects of SLR, disturbance, and restoration in the coastal Everglades. Development of hindcasting capabilities allows us to identify processes and mechanism of hydrological and vegetation change that have occurred under past histories of SLR, hurricane disturbance, and land use change (water delivery systems). If we successfully capture salient processes in the hindcast, we can build on those models to provide futurecasts of possible effects under different combinations of SLR, climate change, management and restoration scenarios. The hydrological output can link to other models developed for CERP, providing decision-support tool for resource managers throughout the Greater Everglades (Everglades National Park, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Big Cypress National Preserve).

Our models, however, have application beyond the Everglades. Extensive, low-lying coastal wetlands and estuaries are found throughout the USA and the world. The methodology and results of the SEHM model are directly applicable to forecasting effects of sea level rise and storm surge events on potential changes in coastal vegetation. This has direct relevance for southern Florida, but is applicable to many areas outside of this geographic range. It is also applicable to forecasting and hind-casting the effects of local alterations in coastal hydrology, such as other alterations in tidal patterns due to development (e.g., road construction in Sian Ka'an National Park, Mexico) and to effects of tsunamis on low lying islands and coastal areas.

Our research addresses several goals in the USGSCRP guidance particularly incorporating downscaling from global to regional models, focusing research on vulnerable coastal areas and addressing thresholds and tipping points in addition to gradual changes in means. Understanding time lags in ecosystem response is one of 5 key issues from the IPCC AR4, WGII, Chapter 4.1.2., which we address with our hindcast models and models of vegetation regime change. Our entire approach is aimed at (1) Understanding Ecosystems and Predicting Ecosystem Change: Ensuring the Nation's Economic and Environmental Future and (2) Climate Variability and Change: Clarifying the Record and Assessing Consequences, as described in USGS Circular 1309.

Relevance of Project to USGS CLU SSPT Goals:

Goal 1. Improve understanding of past global changes in support of policy and management decisions. Our hindcasting models will help elucidate processes that occurred in the past under know conditions of SLR, hurricane disturbance and land use (water delivery systems). Understanding processes expected to occur with future change can help identify policy and management options.

Goal 3. Improve understanding of Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LULCC): rates, causes, and consequences. We are hindcasting 3 different time periods that allows us to compare changes over time and elucidate processes that occurred in the past under know conditions of SLR, hurricane disturbance and land use (water delivery).

Goal 4. Improve understanding, at a process level, of changes in droughts, floods, and water availability under changing land use and climate. We are hindcasting 3 different time periods that allows us to compare changes in hydrological parameters over time and to elucidate processes that occurred in the past under know conditions of SLR, hurricane disturbance and land use (water delivery).

Goal 5. Improve understanding and prediction of coastal response to sea-level rise and climatic change. Development of the futurecast models will be anchored in the hindcast models, which capture processes expected to occur under future change. Although we cannot predict change, we can provide managers with some level of understanding of what to expect when those processes operate under different scenarios of SLR, climate change, management and restoration.

Goal 6. Improve understanding and prediction of biological responses to global change. By linking hydrological and biological models, feedback mechanisms can be modeled to provide more realistic representation of important response processes. Furthermore, numerical hydrodynamic models allow us to examine changes not only in the mean of a parameter, but also its variance, describing the extreme conditions that organisms must respond to on a seasonal and annual basis.

Users of Data and other Products:

Delivered Products:

Publications

2010

Langtimm, C.A., Smith, T.J. III, DeAngelis, D.L., Swain, E.D., Krohn, M.D., and Stith, B.M., 2010, Progress Update - FY2009: Past and Future Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Habitats and Species in the Greater Everglades - An Integrated Modeling Approach: Peer Reviewed update on SLR project to Bea Van Horne, Ecosystems Mapping and Ronnie Best, GE PES.

Smith, T.J., III, Tiling-Range, G., Jones, J., Nelson, P., Foster, A., and Balentine, K., 2010, The use of historical charts and photographs in ecosystem restoration: examples from the Everglades Historical Air Photo Project, in Cowley, D.C., Standring, R.A., and Abicht, M.J., eds., Landscapes through the lens: aerial photographs and the historic environment: Occasional Publication of the Aerial Archaeology Research Group, No. 2, Oxford, UK, Oxbow Books, p. 179-191.

2011

Barr, J.G., Smith, T.J., III, Fuentes, J.D., and Engel, V., 2011, Hurricane disturbance and recovery of energy balance, CO2 fluxes and canopy structure in a mangrove forest of the Florida Everglades: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Available online 08 September 2011.

DeAngelis, D.L., Jiang, J., Teh, S.Y., Koh, H.L., Smith, T.J., Langtimm, C.A., Swain, E.D., Krohn, M.D., and Stith, B.M., 2011, Modeling the effects of storm surges, in Koh, H.L., Liu, P.L-F., and Yean, T.S., eds.., Tsunami simulation for impact assessment, Proceeding Series, Penerbit Universiti Sains, Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, p. 8-18.

Martin, J., Fackler, P.L., Nichols, J.D., Lubow, B.C., Eaton, M.J., Runge, M.C., Stith, B.M., and Langtimm, C.A., 2011, Structured decision making as a proactive approach to dealing with sea level rise in Florida: Climatic Change, v. 107, p. 185-202.

Saha, A.K., Saha, S., Sadle, J., Jiang, J., Ross, M.S., Price, R.M., Sternberg, L.S.L.O., and Wendelberger, K.S., 2011, Sea level rise and south Florida coastal forests: Climatic Change, v. 107, p. 81-108.

Stith, B.M., J.P. Reid, Langtimm, C.A., Swain, E.D., Doyle, T.J., Slone, D.H., Decker, J.D., and Soderqvist, L.E., 2011, Temperature inverted haloclines provide winter warm-water refugia for manatees in southwest Florida: Estuaries and Coasts, v. 34, p. 106-119.

Submitted for publication

Decker, J.D., Swain, E.D., Stith, B.M., and Langtimm, C.A., In review, Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Flow and Transport Modeling to Assess Factors Affecting Thermal Properties of a Passive Thermal Refuge: Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering.

Jiang, J., DeAngelis, D.L., Smith, T.J., III, Teh, S.Y., and Koh, H.L., In press, Spatial pattern formation of coastal vegetation in response to external gradients and positive feedbacks affecting soil porewater salinity: A model study: Landscape Ecology.

Smoak, J.M., Breithaupt, J., Smith, T.J., III, and Sanders, C.J., In review, Sediment accretion and organic carbon burial relative to sea-level rise and storm events in the mangrove forests of Everglades National Park: Journal of Coastal Research.

Stefanova, L., Misra, V., Chan, S., O'Brien, J.J., Griffin, M., and Smith, T.J., III, Accepted and in revision, A Proxy for High-Resolution Regional Reanalysis for the Southeast United States: Assessment of Precipitation Variability: Climate Dynamics.

Teh, S.Y., Koh, H.L., DeAngelis, D.L., and Turtora, M., In review, Modeling salinity intrusion and vegetative succession under global warming by MANTRA: Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Managing Rivers in the 21st Century: Sustainable Solutions for Global Crisis of Flooding, Pollution and Water Scarcity.

Zhang, K., Liu, H., Li, Y., Xu, H., Shen, J., Rome, J., and Smith, T.J., III, In review, The role of mangroves in attenuating storm surges: Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans.

Presentations

2009

DeAngelis, D.L., Jiang, J., Koh, H.L., Teh, S.Y., Smith, T.J., Krohn, M.D., Swain, E.D., Langtimm, C.A., and Stith, B.M., 2009, Modeling the effects of storm surges, South China Sea Tsunami Workshop 3, Penang, Malaysia, 3-5 November 2009.

2010

Martin, J., Nichols, J.D., Langtimm, C.A., Stith, B.M., Runge, M.C., Eaton, M.J., and Edwards, H., Structured decision making as a proactive approach to dealing with sea level rise in Florida, Presentation at "Keeping our Heads above Water" A workshop at Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid, FL, January 18-20 2010, Florida Institute for Conservation Sciences, Inc.

Langtimm, C.A., DeAngelis, D.L., Krohn, M.D., Smith, T.J., III, Stith, B.M., and Swain, E.D., Past and future impacts of sea level rise on coastal habitats and species in the greater Everglades, Poster Presented at Sea Level Rise 2010 Conference, March 1-3 2010, Corpus Christi, TX.

Langtimm, C.A., DeAngelis, D.L., Krohn, M.D., Smith, T.J., III, Stith, B.M., and Swain, E.D., Past and future impacts of sea level rise on coastal habitats and species in the greater Everglades, Poster Presented at USGS Climate Change Conference, March 9-11 2010, Denver, CO.

Swain, E., Langtimm, C., Smith, T., Krohn, M.D., DeAngelis, D., Stith, B., Decker, J., and Lohmann, M., Development of hydrodynamic models for evaluating climate change and ecosystem landscape effects in southern Florida, USA, Poster Presented at USGS Climate Change Conference, March 9-11 2010, Denver, CO.

Swain, E.D., Lohmann, M., Langtimm, C.A., Decker, J., Stith, B., and Krohn, M.D., Advances and applications of hydrodynamic transport modeling coupled to underlying ground-water flow in Southern Florida, USA, Presentation at 3rd USGS Modeling Conference, Denver, Colorado, June 7-11, 2010.

Langtimm, C.A., DeAngelis, D.L., Krohn, M.D., Smith, T.J. III, Stith, B.M., and Swain, E.D., Past and future impacts of sea level rise on coastal habitats and species in the greater Everglades, Poster presented at 3rd USGS Modeling Conference, Denver, Colorado, June 7-11, 2010.

Presentations at GEER 2010, 13-16 July 2010, Naples, FL

Special Session: Langtimm and Swain
Predicting Past and Future Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Habitats and Species in the Greater Everglades - Integrating hydrological and ecological models

Langtimm, C.A., Swain, E.D., DeAngelis, D.E., Smith, T.D., III, Krohn, M.D., and Stith, B.M., Special Session: Predicting Past and Future Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Habitats and Species in the Greater Everglades - Integrating Hydrological and Ecological Models.

Swain, E.D., Langtimm, C.A., Smith, T.D., Krohn, M.D., DeAngelis, D.M., Stith, B.M., Decker, J., and Lohmann, M., Predicting Coastal Landscape Changes by Modeling Long-Timescale Impacts of Hydrodynamic Fluctuations on Salinity and Hydroperiods.

Krohn, M.D., Swain, E.D., Smith, T.J., III, and Langtimm, C.A., Inferring Effects of Historic Extreme Storms in the Everglades from Hindcast Models.

DeAngelis, D.E., Jiang, J., Teh, S.Y., Koh, H.L., and Smith, T.J., Effects of Sea Level Rise (SLR) and Storm Surge Events on Coastal Vegetation Communities.

Smith, T.J., III, Tiling-Range, G., Nelson, P., Foster, A., Anderson, G.H., and Balentine, K., Vectors of Change in the Coastal Everglades: Sea Level Rise, Storms, Freezes and Fire.

Lohmann, M., Swain, E., and Decker, J., BISECT: A Hydrologic Model of South Florida for Evaluating Ecosystem Restoration and Sea-Level Rise.

Green, T.W., Slone, D.H., Swain, E.D., Cherkiss, M.S., Mazzotti, F.J., and Rice, K.G., Using a Spatially Explicit Crocodile Population Model to Predict Potential Impacts of Sea Level Rise and Everglades Restoration Alternatives.

Bahm, K., Swain, E., Fennema, R., and Kotun, K., Everglades National Park and Sea-Level Rise: Using the TIME Model to Predict Salinity and Hydroperiods.

Decker, J., Swain, E., Stith, B., and Langtimm, C., Hydrodynamic Modeling to Assess Factors Affecting Thermal Properties of a Passive Thermal Refuge in Southwest Florida.

Additional presentations at GEER 2010

Stith, B.M., Reid, R.P., Langtimm, C.A., Swain, E.D., Decker, J.D., and Slone, D.H., Manatees, Restoration, and Severe Winters: How Haloclines Shelter Manatees From Cold in Southwest Florida.

Tiling-Range, G., Smith, T.J., III, Nelson, P.R., and Krohn, M.D., Mapping the Changing Coastline of Southwest Florida: Cape Romano to Cape Sable from the 1800s to the present.

Nelson, P.R., Smith, T.J., III, Tiling-Range, G., and Plant, N.G., The Disappearing Islands of Whitewater Bay, Everglades National Park.

Anderson, G.H., Bahm, K., Fennema, R., Swain, E., Balentine, K.M., and Smith, T.J., III, A Paired Surface-water/Groundwater Monitoring Network in the Western Coastal Mangrove Everglades provides Water Level and Salinity Data for Analysis and Model Validation.

Lohmann, M., and Swain, E., Potential Impacts of Localized Hydrologic Features on Sea-Level Rise Induced Saltwater Intrusion in South Florida.

Balentine, K.M., Smith, T.J., III, and Range, G.T., Crab Burrows and their Contribution to Surface Elevation in Mangrove Forests of Tampa Bay and Everglades National Park, FL, USA.

Swain, M., Swain, M., Lohmann, M., and Swain, E., Experimental Determination of Soil Heat Storage Depth for the Simulation of Heat Transport in a Coastal Wetland.

Smoak, J.M., Smith, T.J., Harmon, T., Sanders, C.J., Tiling-Range, G., and Nelson, P., Sediment Accumulation in Everglades National Park Mangrove Forest.

2011

Langtimm, C.A., Swain, E.D., Krohn, M.D., Smith, T.J., III, DeAngelis, D.L., and Stith, B.M. Hindcasting hydrologic and ecological response to sea level rise in the coastal Everglades to model future response to global change and restoration, Presentation at 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress, 14-18 May 2011.

Swain, E., Langtimm, C.A., Lohmann, M., Smith, T.J., Krohn, M.D., and DeAngelis, D.L., 2011, Estimation and prediction of coastal landscape changes utilizing a hydrodynamic simulator and aerial photogrammetry, Presentation at National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration, Baltimore MD, August 1-5, 2011.

Krohn, M.D., DeAngelis, D.L., Jiang, J., Langtimm, C.A., 2011, Re-creation of ecotone transitions in the Everglades from theoretical model distributions and sea-level rise curves, Poster at National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration, Baltimore MD, August 1-5, 2011.

Lohmann, M., and Swain, E., 2011, Evaluating the potential impacts of sealevel rise and the comprehensive Everglades restoration plan (CERP) on South Florida using the Biscayne and Southern Everglades Coastal Transport (BISECT) Model: National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration, Baltimore MD, August 1-5, 2011.

Planned Products:

Beta versions of hydrodynamic models completed for use at workshop with research partners.

Workshops

Data and metadata

Web site

Presentations at professional meetings

Peer reviewed papers:

FY12 TASK 9.1 WORK PLAN

Title of Task 9.1: Integration of Hydrological and Ecological Models
Task Leader: Catherine A Langtimm
Phone: 508-335-3029
e-mail: clangtimm@usgs.gov
Task Personnel:
Catherine A. Langtimm, Lead PI
Eric Swain, Lead hydrology modeling
Melinda Lohmann, hydrology modeling
Thomas Smith, ecologist, conducts landscape change analyses
Don DeAngelis, ecologist, lead vegetation change modeling effort
Jiang Jiang, Ph.D. student, models mechanisms of vegetation change
Dennis Krohn, geologist: provide input for hurricanes and weather event scenarios
Brad Stith, development of SAV habitat suitability index models and manatee individual-based model
Ann Foster, geographer, analyzes historic habitat photo data
Zuzanna Zajac, hydrologist, analyzes and models SAV habitat suitability  

External Collaborators and Partners:

Lydia Stefanova and Vasu Misra, Center for Oceanic-Atmospheric Prediction Studies - Florida State University. They provide the regional climate data downscaled from IPCC models. They have been supported by the "La Florida" project led by T. Smith, which was funded by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC).

Hock Lye Koh and Su Yean Teh, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. These scientists developed the MANHAM and MANTRA models for use in modeling the effects of sea level rise and storm surges on coastal vegetation. They will collaborate on modeling in southern Florida as well as in two Pacific atoll islands. They are not supported by USGS funds.

Chris Landsea of NOAA's AOML lab. Provides hurricane metadata from the HURDAT database. He is not supported by USGS funds.

Task Objectives:

Provide the framework for collaboration of the multidisciplinary science team to integrate the various hydrological and ecological models into new hindcast and futurecast models. Facilitate feedback from the team to individual team members as they develop their particular components of the modeling effort. Facilitate innovation, implementation and integration of data and models to meet the overall objectives of the project. Ensure that the models capture processes important to a broad range of management and research needs.  

Methods:

Development of strategies and approaches to integrate component parts of the modeling effort are determined by the team. Each PI is responsible for continued development of the discipline-specific model(s) s/he bring to this effort, but the group is responsible for regular input and feedback to ensure that each model's development is appropriate for integration into the larger models. Integration of data and models is an iterative process where progress is repeatedly presented to the group and discussed, usually leading to modifications or fine tuning of the research. Conference calls, team workshops, shared web sites are used to facilitate communication within the group. The lead PI of the team is responsible for coordinating and facilitating communication and discussion, while the appropriate individual PI is responsible for implementation of the integration and final model development.

The integrated hydrology-ecology models under development specifically for this project are:

1. Hindcast of the TIME model (Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades) for 1926-1932, 1934-1940, 1946-1952.
2. Incremental sea level rise scenarios applied to the TIME model
3. Incremental sea level rise scenarios applied to the Ten Thousand Islands (TTI) model
4. Spatially Explicit Hammock Mangrove model (SEHM)
5. Mangrove-Marsh ecotone model (MANMARSH)
6. Habitat Suitability Index models (HSI) for various species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).
7. Manatee Spatially Explicit Species model under the TTI model.

See individual tasks below for details as outlined by the lead PI.

Progress and Accomplishments during previous fiscal year:

Strategies and approaches discussed and/or developed:

Workshops:

Presentations:

Work to be undertaken during the current fiscal year:

Work to be undertaken in future years:

Specific Task Product(s):

FY12 TASK 9.2 WORK PLAN

Title of Task 9.2: Numerical Hydrology Models
Task Leader: Eric D. Swain
Phone: 954-377-5925
e-mail: edswain@usgs.gov
Task Personnel:
Eric Swain - Lead hydrologic modeler
Melinda Lohmann - Hydrologic modeler

External Collaborators and Partners:

Lydia Stefanova and Vasu Misra, Center for Oceanic-Atmospheric Prediction Studies - Florida State University. They provide the regional climate data downscaled from IPCC models. They have been supported by the "La Florida" project led by T. Smith, which was funded by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC).

Task Objectives:

Develop and refine the coupled hydrodynamic surface-water/groundwater model to represent historic "Hindcast" conditions between the 1920's and the 1950's. This involves the representation of tidal levels, surface-water inflows, precipitation, and storm events representative of these historic times.

Future conditions are represented for different levels of sea-level rise and precipitation. The future conditions precipitation is downscaled from global climate atmospheric model simulations and different levels of sea-level rise.

To integrate the diverse modeling tools developed for the project to look at the interaction between hydrology and ecology. The integration involves:

Methods:

Information on historic storm intensity and configuration, as well as sea-level difference information, is integrated into the Hindcast simulations. Synthetic timeseries of surface-water inflows are developed for the historical periods based on an annual wet-season/dry-season cycle and water levels in Lake Okeechobee. Additional historic data, including precipitation and canal configurations, is obtained from recorded data.

Simulated inundation/salinity events from the Hindcast model are used to specify long-term surface-water and groundwater salinity timeseries for the SEHM simulation of Mangrove/Hammock populations

The land coverage information derived from historic aerial photographic analysis is used to develop inundation patterns that can be used in parameter-estimation simulation with the Hindcast model to determine coastal surface-elevation changes.

The simulated effects of sea-level rise, including spatial and temporal distributions of salinity, stage, and temperature, are used as input to habitat modeling. Comparisons of different sea-level rise conditions can be directly made.

Progress and Accomplishments during previous fiscal year:

Model development:

Manuscripts submitted:

Presentations:

Work to be undertaken during the current fiscal year:

Work to be undertaken in future years:

Specific Task Product(s):

FY12 TASK 9.3 WORK PLAN

Title of Task 9.3: Hurricane Dynamics
Task Leader: Dennis Krohn
Phone: 727-803-8747 x3062
e-mail: dkrohn@usgs.gov
Task Personnel:
Dennis Krohn: Geologist

External Collaborators and Partners:

Chris Landsea of NOAA's AOML lab. Provides hurricane metadata from the HURDAT database. He is not supported by USGS funds.

Task Objectives:

Analyze the effect of episodic disturbances, particularly extreme storms, on the development and impact of two major modeling efforts of the project: (1) Hindcast of the TIME model, the existing hydrologic model for the Everglades; and (2) SEHM, the mechanistic models of coastal vegetation change between species across an ecotone.

Methods:

Compile historical hurricane information for the Everglades. Use historical wind field from HURDAT, the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) of NOAA's AOML lab to provide input data set for model hindcasts. Use modern wind field information to estimate distribution of contemporaneous extreme storm effects. Get feedback from resource managers as to the type of episodic information and predicative information they need. Develop a methodology to input episodic storm events as input into the landscape models.

Progress and Accomplishments during previous fiscal year:

Model Development:

Presentations:

Manuscripts in prep:

Work to be undertaken during the current fiscal year:

Work to be undertaken in future years:

Specific Task Product(s):

FY12 TASK 9.4 WORK PLAN

Title of Task 9.4: Modelling effects of rising sea level and storm surge events on vegetation communities
Task Leader: Donald L. DeAngelis
Phone: 305-284-1690
e-mail: don_deangelis@usgs.gov
Task Personnel:
Don DeAngelis, Lead modeling effort
Jiang Jiang, Ph.D. student, models vegetation change mechanisms
Thomas J. Smith III, ecologist, expert on mangrove and marsh population dynamics

External Collaborators and Partners:

Hock Lye Koh and Su Yean Teh, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. These scientists developed the MANHAM and MANTRA models for use in modeling the effects of sea level rise and storm surges on coastal vegetation. They will collaborate on modeling in southern Florida as well as in two Pacific atoll islands. They are not supported by USGS funds.

Task Objectives:

The main objective of this task is to integrate models for vegetation and for hydrology, in order to obtain an improved picture of the short term and long-term effects of overwash events that may result from a storm surge on a low-lying coastal area, or island or atoll, and refine our hypothesis that a regime shift may occur.

Methods:

Two different models for vegetation dynamics will be used, the cellular automata model MANHAM (Teh et al. 2008), and the individual-based model, SEHM (Jiang et al. in review). Both MANHAM and SEHM simulate the coastal vegetation types (salinity-tolerant mangroves and salinity-intolerant hardwood hammock vegetation), including movement of water and soil in the vadose or unsaturated zone of the soil. They differ in the detail of the vegetation submodel, which is more refined in the individual-based SEHM. Both models simulate the dynamics of the vegetation, including that of competing vegetation types with different salinity tolerance. They also simulate the movement of water and salinity in the vadose zone, as influenced by precipitation, tides, evaporation, evapotranspiration of vegetation, and movement of water upwards from the groundwater. However, they do not model the dynamics of the groundwater underlying the vadose zone, which, in coastal areas and atolls, typically consists of a freshwater lens on top of deeper water with salinity levels close to the neighboring sea water. This freshwater lens constitutes an important component of the water balance for the overlying vegetation through transpiration and plays a key role on the salinity balance as well; it has not been considered in existing model formulations. MANHAM and SEHM assume the groundwater is a constant boundary condition. This assumption of constancy is certainly violated on small atoll islands, where tides cause diurnal fluctuations in groundwater, and storm surges can cause long-lasting alterations. Two models for hydrology are being integrated with MANHAM and SEHM. The first is the TIME model. TIME simulates surface water and groundwater on a 400 x 400 m grid over the southern Everglades. This model will be useful for providing groundwater input and the inputs of water and salinity from storm surges. For finer spatial resolution modeling, the model for hydrology is the USGS's SUTRA model (Voss 1984, Voss 1999, Voss and Provost 2002) for the freshwater lens of an atoll island. SUTRA simulates variable-density groundwater flow, which quantifies the hydraulic and salinity gradients in the freshwater-saltwater transition zone associated with the freshwater lens. To improve the calculation of interacting vegetation, water, and salinity on low-lying coastal areas, as well as low-lying islands and atolls, we propose to link. A working pilot example of this linkage of MANHAM and SUTRA, called MANTRA, has been accomplished (Teh et al., in review)

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FY12 TASK 9.5 WORK PLAN

Title of Task 9.5: Landscape Changes with Sea-Level Rise: Vegetation and Sediment Surface Elevation - Field and Laboratory Studies
Task Leader: Thomas J. Smith III
Phone: 727-803-8747 x 3130
e-mail: tom_j_smith@usgs.gov
Task Personnel:
Tom Smith, direct the field and laboratory work
Ann Foster, GIS analyses
Ginger Range, assist with field and lab work and GIS
Paul Nelson, assist with field and lab work and GIS

External Collaborators and Partners:

Dr. Joseph Smoak, Department of Environmental Studies, Policy & Geography, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Dr. Smoak is using lead-210, a short-lived (~25yrs) radioisotope, to measure rates of sediment accumulation and carbon burial at two sites in Everglades NP, where Co-PI Smith has vegetation plots and time series of vegetation change based on historical aerial photos.

Dr. Keqi Zhang, Department of Earth and the Environment & International Hurricane Research Center, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. Dr. Zhang is conducting a large-scale assessment of mangrove and coastal wetland change in the Everglades using enhanced Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, LIDAR data and ground observations. Zhang has used Smith's hydrology and vegetation data in his work.

Dr. Rene Price, Department of Earth and the Environment, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. Dr. Price is interested in the hydro-geology of south Florida, including the Everglades. She uses various chemical tracers to study groundwater flowpaths, groundwater ages and to examine surface - ground water interactions. Price has collected samples from Smith's surface and groundwater wells in the Everglades.

Dr. Evelyn Gaiser, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, Florida. Dr. Gaiser is the Lead Principal Investigator on the NSF funded Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research project, on which Smith serves as a collaborator. Her research concerns algal primary productivity, wetlands ecology and paleoecology.

Drs. Vasu Misra & Lydia Stefanova, Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. These two researchers study a variety of climate phenomena including ENSO, monsoons, tropical Atlantic variability. They formed the climate team on the USGS funded project: "La Florida: A Land of Flowers on a Latitude of Deserts" from the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. In particular they performed the AOGCM model down-scaling and produced projections of future climates.

Task Objectives:

This task aims to produce a recent history of vegetation community changes in the coastal Everglades and relate those changes to factors such as hydrology (rising sea-levels, storm surges, and droughts), fire and freeze events. Additionally, sediment accumulation in the coastal wetlands is examined as this is a feedback mechanism for vegetation and hydrology.

Methods:

To determine recent (1920s to present) changes in vegetation community pattern and structure, a series of historical maps, charts and aerial photos has been amassed (Smith et al. 2010). These charts and photos have been geo-referenced and input to a Geographic Information System for analysis. Positions of the mangrove - marsh ecotones, at selected locations, are being mapped. A network of sites with permanent vegetation plots, sediment elevation tables and surface- and groundwater hydrology monitoring wells has been established (Smith 2004) and has produced valuable data concerning mangrove forest response to hurricane storm surges and sediment deposition (Smith et. al. 2009). In the permanent plots all mangrove stems have been identified to species, tagged, measured for diameter at 1.4m height, and mapped into x-y coordinates. Allometric equations to determine plant biomass, by component (i.e. leaf, stem, branches) from stem diameter have been determined (Smith & Whelan 2006). The initial plots were established in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew (Smith et.al. 1994). The plots have been sampled at approximately 2-3 year intervals. At each re-sampling new recruits are recorded, measured, mapped and tagged. All surviving stems are measured for diameter and stems which have died are recorded.

Recently we have been developing a fire history geo-database for Everglades National Park that includes all fires (natural and prescribed) for the period 1948 - 2010. The perimeters of fires are mapped in the field by Park Staff. We geo-reference these maps and import them into the GIS database for analyses. Surface water level data from a number of Park stations goes back to 1953. These data have been collated and are being analyzed in relation to sea-level rise and climate signals such as ENSO.

Progress and Accomplishments during previous fiscal year:

Manuscripts Published / Submitted:

Misra, V., Moeller, L., Stefanova, L., Chan, S., O'Brien, J.J., Smith, T.J., III & Plant, N. 2011. The influence of the Atlantic Warm Pool on the Florida panhandle sea breeze. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D00Q06, doi:10.1029/2010JD015367.

Saha, A.K., Moses, C., Price, R.M., Engel, V., Smith, T.J., III & Anderson, G. In Press. A hydrological budget (2002-2008) for a large subtropical wetland ecosystem indicates marine groundwater discharge accompanies diminished freshwater flow. Journal of Estuaries and Coasts

Smoak, J.M., Breithaupt, J., Smith, T.J., III & Sanders, C.J. In review. Sediment accretion and organic carbon burial relative to sea-level rise and storm events in a mangrove forest in Everglades National Park, Florida. Journal of Coastal Research.

Stefanova, L., Misra, V., Chan, S., Griffin, M., O'Brien, J.J. & Smith, T.J., III. In Press. A Proxy for High Resolution Regional Reanalysis for the Southeast United States: Assessment of Precipitation Variability in Dynamically Downscaled Reanalyses. Climate Dynamics.

Zhang, K., Liu, H., Li, Y., Xu, H., Shen, J., Rhome, J. & Smith, T.J., III. In Review. Mangrove attenuation of storm surges. Journal of Geophysical Research.

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Literature Cited

Smith, T.J., III. 2004. Development of a long-term sampling network to monitor restoration success in the southwest coastal Everglades: vegetation, hydrology, and sediments. USGS Fact Sheet FS-2004-3015. http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/fs/2004-3015/

Smith, T.J., III, Anderson, G.H., Balentine, K., Tiling, G., Ward, G.A., & Whelan, K.R.T. 2009. Cumulative Impacts of Hurricanes on Florida Mangrove Ecosystems: Sediment Deposition, Storm Surges and Vegetation. Wetlands, 29: 24-34.

Smith, T.J., III, Robblee, M.B., Wanless, H.R., & Doyle, T.W. 1994. Mangroves, hurricanes and lightning strikes. Bioscience, 44: 256-262.

Smith, T.J., III, Tiling-Range, G., Jones, J., Nelson, P., Foster, A. and Balentine, K. 2010. The use of historical charts and photographs in ecosystem restoration: examples from the Everglades Historical Air Photo Project. Pages 179-191 IN Cowley, D.C., Standring, R.A. and Abicht, M.J. (eds.), Landscapes through the Lens: Aerial Photographs and the Historic Environment. Occasional Publication of the Aerial Archaeology Research Group No. 2. Oxbow Books, Oxford, UK.

Smith, T.J., III & Whelan, K.R.T. 2006. Development of allometric relations for three mangrove species in South Florida for use in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 14: 409-419.

FY12 TASK 9.6 WORK PLAN

Title of Task 9.6: Application of the hydrological-ecological models to individual species models.
Task Leader: Bradley M. Stith
Phone: 352-264-3529
e-mail: bstith@usgs.gov
Task Personnel:
Brad Stith, Ecologist, leads modeling effort
Zuzanna Zajac, hydrologist, models and analyzes habitat suitability
Catherine Langtimm, Research wildlife biologist, expertise on manatee biology and population dynamics

Task Objectives:

Work with the multi-disciplinary team to:
(1) develop and integrate vegetation and hydrologic models to provide output to assess habitat suitability for focal species using spatially explicit species models.
(2) develop a predictive capability for the integrated biology-hydrology models, which incorporates comparative assessments of effects to vegetation and species under various restoration or management scenarios and SLR scenarios.
(3) demonstrate the application of the new models to individual-based and SESI models of a trust species, the Florida manatee.

Methods:

A spatially explicit species index (SESI) modeling approach will be used to relate the hydrology output to potential impacts of climate change and/or restoration scenarios to select species. For each species, GIS layers representing habitat suitability at key time intervals are derived from the time-series of hydrology model output. Our faunal species analysis will be conducted in two stages beginning with estuarine species and using hydrological output from the hydrologic models of incremental sea level rise. Although the hydrologic model will not incorporate vegetation and topographic change until late in the research, early modeling efforts should be fairly robust for our focal estuarine species - freshwater and saltwater submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), and manatees, which are less affected by mangrove/marsh habitat changes or land elevation changes.

SAV were selected for the first phase because they have already been modeled using a SESI approach, were identified as being important indicator species, and respond to a full range of hydrologic conditions. Manatees were chosen because they are a federally-listed species, they respond rapidly to changes in hydrologic parameters, are readily incorporated into the SESI approach, and we have a detailed individual-based model integrated with the TTI application of the FTLOADDS model, which simulates changes in distribution with hydrological change. Following the successful development of the hydrologic model with topographic change and the mangrove/hammock model, we will link the manatee individual-based model with the final hydrology model to forecast the future distribution of manatees in the region. Comparison of manatee distribution from the individual-based model with habitat suitability from the simpler manatee SESI model will be used to assess the efficacy of the simpler SESI approach.

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