projects > interrelation of everglades hydrology and florida bay dynamics to ecosystem processes and restoration in south florida> 2001 Proposal
Interrelation of Everglades Hydrology and Florida Bay Dynamics to Ecosystem Processes and Restoration in South Florida
Project Proposal for 2001
CONTINUING PROJECT WORK PLAN - FY2001
Project title: Interrelation of Everglades Hydrology and Florida Bay Dynamics to Ecosystem Processes and Restoration in South Florida.
Program(s): Place-Based Studies
In the historical component, floral and faunal records are being analyzed and correlated with the hydrologic record for the last 70 years as determined by isotopic analysis. This effort supplies important information, such as the timing of sea level rise and storm events in the northern transition zone, for process-based studies (both in freshwater and coastal environments) and for ecological history research. The historical component will also provide detailed data on which to hindcast environmental history over the last 50 to 70 years for development and analysis of restoration scenarios using the hydrologic model.
In the hydrological component, past regional hydroperiods are being reconstructed from water-level records and numerical simulations to investigate correlations to natural and imposed changes. Hydrologic results from process studies within the SICS study area have been integrated into the development of a model for use in investigating the hydrologic cycle of the coupled wetland and tidal ecosystem. Topographic and hydraulic measurements have provided the most up-to-date data for depicting the SICS region as well as the empirical data needed to develop the mathematical expressions and correlations for representing the relevant hydrologic processes, e.g., vegetative resistance, wind forcing, evapo-transpiration, ground-water/surface-water interactions, etc. The SICS model will be used to evaluate interrelationships between key hydrologic processes and dynamic forces controlling flow conveyance in and through the Taylor Slough wetlands, along the coastal mangrove fringe of Florida Bay, and through the Buttonwood embankment that delineates the wetland and tidal ecosystems. Hindcast simulations of historical flow events will provide information on flow patterns and hydroperiods for ecological analyses.
In the follow-up phase, results of ecological studies, both historical and present day, being conducted by USGS researchers and ENP biologists, will be incorporated as an integral component of the synthesis (see Bibliography). These ecological studies will provide for a more precise calibration of extant vegetation communities based on analysis of historical aerial photos from the study area dating from 1927. These data will provide needed calibration to the history component of the synthesis. At present, an ecological simulation model of freshwater Everglades fish communities (ALFISH) that has been developed as part of BRD's Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) program is being expanded to include the mangrove forests along the coast of ENP. The ATLSS modeling team requires the collaboration and assistance of the SICS hydrology modeling team to develop the necessary hydrologic inputs for this new landscape level, estuarine fish model. BRD researchers in south Florida currently operate a series of hydrological monitoring stations and maintain numerous long-term vegetation plots within the SICS area. These data will be crucial for the expansion of the ATLSS modeling domain. Importantly, the resolution of the SICS hydrological model and vegetation overlays are at finer landscape grid scales (305m versus 2km) than ATLSS and thus the SICS input should help improve the ATLSS model resolution. The ATLSS models have been an integral part of assessing the various restoration scenarios proposed under the Restudy. Findings of the Hydrology team and numerical output from the SICS model will be used as input for ecological scenario testing. Results from the History team will prove invaluable in providing baseline information concerning past conditions that have changed due to hydrologic alterations over the past 70 years. The baseline data can be used as targets against which to measure the results of both hydrological and ecosystem simulations for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of various resource management alternatives.
Problem statement: The vast wetland ecosystems (both freshwater and coastal estuarine) of south Florida have undergone numerous human disturbances, ranging from alteration of hydroperiod, fire history, and drainage patterns through implementation of the canal system to expansion of agricultural activity to the introduction of exotic species. Presently there is a hydrologic model that is being developed to answer questions concerning water flow to various parts of the Florida Ecosystem, particularly through the northern transition zone to Florida Bay. This project will reconstruct the timing of the dramatic changes within region in the historical component, reconstruct past hydroperiods and investigate their correlation to key human-imposed and natural impacts in the hydrological component, and identify the linkage of noted hydrological changes to shifts in biotic species in the ecological component.
Project objectives and strategy: The primary objective of this synthesis project is to produce a comprehensive report that integrates the findings of individual process studies be they hydrological, ecological or historical. Key processes and their interactions will be documented and resource management alternatives will be identified wherever possible.
Scientific objectives of this synthesis project will be to:
Potential impacts and major products: The major product of this synthesis effort will be a report that clearly describes, both historical and present day, hydrological and ecological aspects of the SICS ecosystem, defines the range and sensitivity of hydrological conditions that affect their ecological interrelationship, and identifies those conditions that are amenable to either active or passive management to sustain or improve the ecological health of the system. A clear, succinct, statement of the cause and effect relationships, whether hydrological, ecological, or management orientated, which are operating within the SICS study area will be of great management benefit. We anticipate that other products, such as traditional peer reviewed papers, will also be developed and disseminated by individual scientists either directly involved or otherwise contributing to this synthesis project.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS, OUTCOMES, AND PRODUCTS
Depending on concentration of various floral and faunal components, sampling intervals may be as closely spaced as 1 cm, which may provide resolution on a semi-decadal scale. The concentration of wind-blown charcoal, which is the measure of local to regional fire history, also is being measured in selected cores to establish the accumulation rate of charcoal and, ultimately, to assess regional and temporal trends in burning history. The data will be placed into a GIS setting that will be accomplished by compositing aerial photographs on a decadal time scale beginning with 1930. These data overlays will be available for hindcasting with the hydrologic simulation.
A number of the permanent mangrove vegetation plots within the SICS study area have been re-sampled. Analyses of these data will give a short-term picture (five years) of vegetation change in the mangrove transition area. Analysis of vegetation changes based on historical aerial photographs (dating to 1927) has begun. Photo sets from areas where the sediment cores were collected are being assembled and archived in digital format.
Compilation and evaluation of water level records, generation of a land-surface elevation grid using recently collected GPS-survey data, and analysis of interpolation methods for water-surface profile determination to re-construction hydroperiods have been initiated using GIS techniques. Water-level records from 1995 to present for 30 stations within the SICS study area have been compiled, analyzed, and formatted for GIS input and analysis. A land-surface grid has been generated from the NMD/GPS helicopter survey data to provide the coverage needed to produce hydroperiod maps. Inundation depths have been computed for selected periods using GIS techniques and the results have compared favorably with measured depths during intensive flow-transect measurements conducted for SICS model development. The SICS model has been further refined and enhanced using the latest topographic and hydraulic data, improved ground-truth vegetation classifications, and recent hydrologic process-study findings. A number of modifications have been made in response to internal and external reviews of the model development. A nine-month simulation has been conducted to demonstrate hydroperiod changes over a wet and dry season during which flow velocities and water levels were available for model verification. Discussions were held with the ATLSS group and a demonstration of the integration of SICS and ATLSS simulations was planned and initiated.
FY 1999 products completed:
Holmes, C.W. and Marot, M.E., 1999, Short lived isotopic chronology: Key to environmental modeling, American Association of Petroleum Geologist, Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX.
Holmes, C.W. and Robbins, J.A., 1999, Determine the history of metal deposition in a subtropical ecosystem, 5th international Conference on the biogeochemistry of Trace elements, Vienna, Austria.
Holmes, C.W., Willard, D.E., Brewster-Wingard, L., and Marot, M., 1999, Developmental history of Florida Bay Carbonate Mounds, G.S.A. Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.
Holmes, C.W., Willard, D.E., Brewster-Wingard, L., and Marot, M., 1999, Buttownwood Embankment: the historical perspective on its role in northeastern Florida Bay sedimentary dynamics and hydrology, Florida Bay Meeting, December Key Largo, FL.
FY 1999 stakeholder meetings or other outreach activities:
PIs provided scientific findings for Biennial Report of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.
Informal meetings have been held on two occasions between Project Coordinators and PIs with professional staff at Everglades National Park. The purpose of these meetings was to provide information to our clients and discuss ways and means of data sharing and access. An additional outreach meeting aimed specifically at vegetation mapping in the study region will be held with Park staff before the end of FY99.
Poster and brochure entitled "Science Integrated with Modeling for Improved ManagementThe Southern Inland and Coastal System Interdisciplinary Project of the USGS South Florida Ecosystem Program" prepared and displayed at the South Florida Restoration Science Forum, May 17-19, 1999, Boca Raton, FL.
Two technical sessions presenting ten papers on "Interdisciplinary Assessment of the Hydrology and Hydrologic Processes of the Southern Everglades Ecosystem" organized for 3rd IAHR International Symposium on Ecohydraulics, July 13-16, 1999, Salt Lake City, UT.
FY 2000 products completed or nearly completed:
Smith III, T.J. 1999. Physical forcings and vegetation patterns across mangrove / marsh ecotones in southwest Florida. Florida Bay and Adjacent marine Systems Science Conference. November 1-5, 1999. Key Largo, FL.
Ball, M.H., and Schaffranek, R.W., 2000, Abstract: Water-Surface Elevation and Water Depth Analysis Using a GIS Application, AGU Spring Meeting, Washington, DC, March 2000 (to be published in EOS).
"Mangrove Vegetation Change on Islands in Florida Bay," Poster presented at the Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Science Conference held November 1-5, 1999.
Holmes, C.W., Robbins, J.R., Halley, R.A., Bothner, M.E., Ten Brink, M., and Marot, M.E.,2000 in press, Sedimentary Dynamics of Florida Bay Mud Banks on a Decadal Scale: Invited Chapter in Wardlaw, B.R. (ed), Paleoecology of South Florida. Bulletins of American Paleontology. Director's Approval.
Ball, M. H., and Schaffranek, R.W., 2000, A Time-Series Analysis of Inundation Depths in the Southern Florida Everglades, U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report, September 2000.
Holmes, C., 2000, Historical Perspective of the Buttonwood Region and its Role in Ecology and Hydrology, U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report, April 2000.
Schaffranek, R.W., Smith, T. J. III, and Holmes, C., 2000, An Investigation into the Interrelation of Everglades Hydrology and Florida Bay Dynamics to South Florida Ecosystem Processes, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, September 2000.
Anderson, G.A., T.J. Smith III & W.K. Nuttle, 2000, Water Year 1997 Data Report for the Mangrove Hydrology Network. Florida / Caribbean Science Center, Gainesville, Fl.
Anderson, G.A., T.J. Smith III, 2000, Water Year 1998 Data Report for the Mangrove Hydrology Network. Florida / Caribbean Science Center, Gainesville, Fl.
Map of the extent of freshwater intrusion - Holmes
Fact Sheet on the influence of sea-level rise versus water supply (control) Holmes
Holmes, C.W., Willard, D.E., Brewster-Wingard, L., and Marot, M., 2000, Buttonwood Embankment: the historical perspective on its role in northeastern Florida Bay sedimentary dynamics and hydrology, OFP 2000-XXX (in Review).
FY 2000 outreach & data delivery and use:
Website for exchange of near real-time data made available for project scientists.
PIs (Smith & Schaffranek) participated in the "Standard Dataset Workshop" for the Science Program for Florida bay and Adjacent Marine Systems (16 March 2000). Provided hydrology data from individual SICS process and modeling studies to the Program Management Committee for Florida Bay. USGS data were contributed from studies by Patino (discharge into NE Florida Bay), Smith (Mangrove Hydrology Project), Schaffranek (flow velocities south of the C-111 canal) and Swain (SWIFT2D/SICS modeling). The data will be incorporated into the Uniform Modeling Dataset being developed pursuant to the Hobbie report. This dataset will be the standard used by USCOE, NPS, NOAA, SFWMD and university scientists in constructing hydrological models of Florida Bay.
FY 2001 deliverables/products:
Recent changes in mangrove forest growth and productivity in Florida Bay (Smith).
Analyses of recent (1995-2000) hydroperiods in SICS study area (Schaffranek).
A case study demonstration of the integration potential of the SICS and ATLSS models (Schaffranek, Smith, & Swain).
Reconstruction of recent marsh vegetation based on historical aerial photographs (Smith & Holmes).
WORK PLAN (Time line FY 2000 to project end):
Analyze the organic sediment for pollen and isotopes to define the hydroperiods. The pollen distribution defines the region vegetation whereas the isotopic information defines the water types (marine, brackish or marine.) In combination, a very accurate history of the hydroperiods can be developed: April 1999 to June 2000.
Composite the aerial photographic data and other vegetative GIS products: October 1999 to September 2000.
Continue development of vegetation history, based on historical aerial photos, for each site where the history team has taken sediment core: October 1999 - September 2000.
Provide data from the BRD's "Mangrove Hydrology Network" in digital form to the SICS modeling team: October 1999 - September 2000.
Develop hydrological overlays and inputs for the new ATLSS estuarine fish model: October 1999 - June 2000.
Generate land-surface elevation grid from latest NMD helicopter GPS-survey data and correlate to interpolations of water level profile from hydrologic data to reconstruct historical hydroperiods in SICS study area: October 1999 - June 2000.
Compare and refine hydroperiod reconstruction from hydrological records using specific synoptic simulations conducted with the SICS model: January 2000 - September 2000.
Simulate flow patterns using input data sets provided or determined from past records for critical time periods identified by Historical or Ecological teams as being environmentally and(or) historically significant: April 2000 - September 2000.
New directions or major changes for FY 2001 (if applicable):
FY 2001 Activities:
Finish vegetation history from aerial photographs. September 2001.
Produce 5-year (1995-2000) hydroperiod maps using GIS techniques. September 2001.
Demonstrate ATLSS/SICS models linkage. September 2001.
PROJECT SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS
Required expertise for which no individual has been identified:
Busch, D.E., W.F. Loftus & O.L. Bass, Jr. 1998. Long-term hydrologic effects on marsh plant community structure in the southern Everglades. Wetlands, 18: 230-241.
Craighead, F.C. 1971. The Trees of south Florida, Vol. 1. University of Miami Press. 189pp.
Craighead, F.C. & V.C. Gilbert. 1962. The effects of Hurricane Donna on the vegetation of south Florida. Quart. J. Fla. Acad. Sci. (now Florida Scientist): 25: 1-28.
Davis, J.H., Jr. 1940. The ecology and geologic role of mangroves in Florida. Papers of the Tortugas Laboratory, 32: 303-412.
Egler, F.E. 1952. The southeast saline Everglades vegetation, Florida and its management. Vegetatio Acta Geobotanica (now Vegetatio), 3: 213-265.
Enos, P. 1989. Islands in the bay - a key habitat of Florida Bay. Bull. Mar. Sci. 44: 365-386.
Herndon, A. & D. Taylor. 1986. Response of Muhlenbergia Prairie to Repeated Burning: Changes in Above-ground Biomass. South Florida Natural Resources Center, Everglades National Park, Report SFRC-86/05.
Krauss, P. 1987. Old Field Succession in Everglades National Park. South Florida Natural Resources Center, Everglades National Park, Report SFRC-87/03.
Meeder, J.F., M.S. Ross, G. Telesnicki, P.L. Ruiz & J.P. Shah. 1996. Vegetation analysis in the C-111 / Taylor Slough Basin. Final Report to the South Florida Natural Resources Center, Everglades National Park. Contract C-4244.
Small, J.K. 1904. Report upon further explorations of southern Florida. J. NY Botanical Garden 5: 157-164.
Small, J.K. 1907. Explorations of south Florida. J. NY Botanical Garden 8: 23-28.
Smith III, T.J., J.H. Hudson, M.B. Robblee G.V.N. Powell & P.J. Isdale. 1989. Freshwater flow from the Everglades to Florida Bay: A historical reconstruction based on fluorescent banding in the coral Solenastrea bournoni. Bull. Mar. Sci. 44: 274-282.