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Population Structure and Spatial Delineation of Consumer Communities in the Everglades National Park

Project Proposal for 2001

TITLE: Population structure and Spatial Delineation of Consumer Communities in the Everglades National Park


SUBREGION: Central Everglades

COUNTIES: Miami-Dade, Broward

FUNDING: CESI funding to USGS-BRD, Restoration Ecology Branch

PROJECT MANAGERS: 1) William F. Loftus, 305.242.7835,; 2) Joel Trexler, 305.348.1966,

PROJECT PERSONNEL: 1) John Chick, 305.348.6253,; 2) Tom McElroy, 305.348.4032,; 3) Tim Collins, 305.348.2200,



OVERVIEW & STATUS: In modeling the dynamics of aquatic animal populations in southern Florida wetlands, the dispersal distances, rates of movements, and timing of movement are important but poorly understood. The small size of the wetland animals precludes the use of standard marking techniques for studying movement, and the large, open system of these wetlands makes recapturing marked animals improbable. Genetic markers, used to determine population structure, offer an indirect way of assessing the degree of movement and mixing in these populations, and the landscape-level patterns of animal movement. In a series of studies in this multi-year project, our objectives are to identify population structure of selected aquatic species in the Everglades and to estimate migration rate from genetic data on gene flow for incorporation in the ATLSS model. Data from studies on whether levee and canal systems act as barriers to dispersal of aquatic animals in the Everglades are applicable to the Restudy. We are also using genetic techniques to learn if populations of introduced Asian Swamp Eels have the same source of origin, thereby establishing whether new collection locations represent dispersal events or new introductions. Results have management implications for restoration, modeling, and control of introduced species.

NEEDS & PRODUCTS: Data add information to the ATLSS models about dispersal distances and the effects of levees as barriers to movement. Structure may be an indicator of connectivity in the Restudy.

1) Trexler, J. et al. 1999. Metapopulations or patchy populations: Population structure of three species of aquatic animals from the Everglades. 40 page manuscript;
2) J. C. Trexler et al. 1998. Landscape ecology of freshwater fishes in the Florida Everglades (Oral), and K. Kandl and Trexler. Population structure of mosquitofish and grass shrimp in the Florida Everglades. 1998. (Poster). Symposium on the South Florida Hydroscape, Am. Soc. of Limnologists and Oceanographers/Ecol. Soc. of America meeting, St. Louis, MO;
3) Genetic variation in grass shrimp Palaemonetes paludosus from the Florida Everglades. Quiñones, A. et al. 1997. (Poster), Society for the Study of Evolution, Boulder, CO, and Southeast Ecology and Population Genetics Meeting, Pigeon Forge, TN;
4) Poster at


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Synthesis & Prediction         xx xx xx        

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