USGS - science for a changing world

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

projects > greenhouse gas fluxes for restored and degraded greater everglades wetlands: eddy-covariance flux tower measurements > work plan

Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES
Fiscal Year 2013 Study Work Plan

Study Title: Greenhouse Gas Fluxes for Restored and Degraded Greater Everglades Wetlands: Eddy-Covariance Flux Tower Measurements
Study Start Date: FY2011 Study End Date: TBD
Web Sites: SOFIA project web-page (Greenhouse Gas Fluxes for Restored and Degraded Greater Everglades Wetlands: Eddy-Covariance Flux Tower Measurements); (project photos)
Location: Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP) and Everglades National Park (ENP)
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), FY13 (PES + USGS)
Principal Investigator(s): Barclay Shoemaker, Research Hydrologist; Frank Anderson, Hydrologist; Dave Sumner, Hydrologist; Brian Bergamaschi, Research Hydrologist
Study Personnel: Christian Lopez, Hydrologic Technician, USGS; Mike Wacker, Hydrologist, USGS
Supporting Organizations: SFWMD, BCNP, ENP
Associated / Linked Studies: The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently funded a three-year study of carbon dynamics along a topographic gradient in the headwaters of the Greater Everglades watershed. The DOE study will perform carbon flux measurements of CO2 and CH4 at three locations including Pine Flatwoods, Wet Prairie, and Sawgrass/Peatland; encompassing several landscapes representative of the Everglades. The DOE study will begin in mid-2012 and will be performed by researchers from the University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and the USGS. This GE PES Scope of Work will cooperate with the DOE project to comprehensively describe carbon dynamics over landscapes within Greater Everglades ecosystems.

Overview & Objective(s):
(1) Measure exchanges of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4) between the atmosphere and diverse landscapes in the Florida Everglades.
(2) Relate measured/estimated rates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), gross ecosystem production (GEP), ecosystem respiration (R), and CH4 releases from the landscape to environmental controls including available water and energy; meteorological conditions; and / or plant canopy metrics.
(3) Publish water, energy and carbon cycling data on the South Florida Information Access website (SOFIA), along with meta-data.
(4) Publish project results in peer-reviewed journals.
(5) Continue collaborations with Federal, State, and University researchers.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs

Estimating the carbon storage capacity of a restored Everglades will require empirical baseline data on the functioning of water, energy and carbon cycles. Baseline data on water, energy and carbon cycling also can help define and predict Everglades ecosystem response to regional (e.g., freshwater discharge) and global (e.g., air temperature and sea level rise) environmental change. However, measurements of carbon, methane, and surface-energy cycling are sparse over plant communities within greater Everglade's wetlands. Specifically, the quantity of carbon dioxide and methane absorbed or released annually within subtropical forests and wetlands as well as carbon and energy cycling in response to changes in hydrology, salinity, nutrient loading, forest-fires and/or other factors are poorly known. This project proposes to leverage existing, permanent, eddy-covariance flux stations constructed by the South Florida Water Management District in the Big Cypress National Preserve for carbon cycling studies. Furthermore, this project proposes to add a mobile flux station in Everglades National Park in 2014; providing researchers with flexibility to focus plant communities not represented at the permanent flux tower locations, such as Ridge and Slough.

Relevance of the science effort to improving understanding of the ecological and hydrological processes affecting DOI lands and resources.

The USGS Science Strategy (USGS Circular 1309) introduces six science-based themes to guide research efforts. This proposed work focuses on two of the science themes including; (1) understanding and predicting ecosystem change; and (2) understanding climate variability. An important step to understanding critical ecosystems includes monitoring, assessment, and evaluation of trends using objective, scientifically-based methods (p. 5). Circular 1309 also 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 eddy covariance flux towers that can be integrated with other data networks (such as Coastal Flow Monitoring) to address carbon cycling in the Everglades and evaluate the impacts of climate change. The flux tower network can accommodate new emerging technologies, address relevant scientific inquiries, and promote collaborative science between Federal, State, and University researchers. In addition to the permanent flux tower network, we plan to use a mobile flux tower in FY2014 to create flexibility for investigating (1) how ecosystem productivity responds to changes in hydrological conditions including variations in salinity; (2) how ecosystem productivity changes in response to low or high nutrient loads; and finally (3) what natural or managed conditions create the greatest carbon-storage capacity for Everglades wetlands.

Recent Products:
Shoemaker W.B. 2012, Evapotranspiration in Big Cypress National Preserve; A talk presented at the INTECOL 9 Wetlands Conference; June 3-8th, 2012, Orlando, Florida.

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 p.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shoemaker W.B., and D.M. Sumner, 2006. Alternate corrections for estimating actual wetland evapotranspiration from potential evapotranspiration, WETLANDS, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 528 - 543.

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) Add carbon and methane flux measurements to the Dwarf Cypress tower. Add carbon flux measurements to the Cypress Swamp tower.

(2) Continue to operate three eddy covariance flux stations in BCNP. This includes the Dwarf Cypress (carbon, energy and methane fluxes), Pine Upland (carbon and energy fluxes), and Cypress Swamp (carbon and energy fluxes) flux stations.

(3) Add water, energy, carbon and methane cycling data into the SOFIA database, along with metadata.


Title of Task 1: Add carbon and methane flux measurements to the Dwarf Cypress tower. Add carbon flux measurements to the Cypress Swamp tower.
Task Funding: GE PES
Task Leaders: W. Barclay Shoemaker
Phone: 954-377-5956 (Barclay)
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Barclay Shoemaker, Mike Wacker and Kirms Communication Inc.
Task Summary and Objectives: A gas analyzer for carbon (LICOR 7500A) and methane (LICOR 7700) will be added to the Dwarf Cypress flux station. A gas analyzer for carbon (LICOR 7500A) will be added to the Cypress Swamp flux station. For safety, Kirm's Communication, Inc. will be contracted to perform climbing and installation of the gas analyzers, under the supervision of USGS scientists.

Title of Task 2: Operate three eddy covariance flux stations in BCNP.
Task Funding: GE PES
Task Leaders: W. Barclay Shoemaker
Phone: 954-377-5956 (Barclay)
Task Status (proposed or active): Active and ongoing
Task priority: High
Task Personnel: Barclay Shoemaker, Dave Sumner and Frank Anderson
Task Summary and Objectives: Measured data will include carbon fluxes (NEE, GEP, R) as well as 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. Methane fluxes will be measured at the Dwarf Cypress tower in BCNP. This task will require planning and executing monthly field runs for data downloading and instrumentation repair; running EdiPro software scripts for QAQC, and adding the data into the SOFIA database. Analysis of the data also will be required to compute and gap-fill net ecosystem exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (R), and gross ecosystem production (GEP). Publication of the results will be proposed in FY14 or beyond.