Ecosystem History of the Southwest Coast-Shark River Slough Outflow AreaEntry ID: USGS_SOFIA_eco_hist_swcoast_srs_04
Abstract: The objectives of this project are to document impacts of changes in salinity, water quality, coastal plant and animal communities and other critical ecosystem parameters on a subdecadal-centennial scale in the southwest coastal region (from Whitewater Bay, north to the 10,000 Islands), and to correlate these changes with natural events and resource management practices. Emphasis will be placed on ... 1) determining the amount, timing and sources of freshwater influx (groundwater vs. runoff) into the coastal ecosystem prior to and since significant anthropogenic alteration of flow; and 2) determining whether the rate of mangrove and brackish marsh migration inland has increased since 20th century water diversion and what role sealevel rise might play in the migration. First, the environmental preferences and distributions of modern fauna and flora are established through analyses of modern samples in south Florida estuaries and coastal systems. Much of these data have already been obtained through project work conducted in Florida Bay and the terrestrial Everglades starting in 1995. These modern data are used as proxies for interpreting the historical data from Pb-210 and C-14 dated sediment cores based on assemblage analysis. On the basis of USGS data obtained from cores in Florida Bay and Biscayne Bay, the temporal span of the cores should be at a minimum the last 150 years; this is in agreement with University of Miami data showing sedimentation rates in Whitewater Bay to be approximately 1cm/year. For the estuarine/coastal ecosystems, a multidisciplinary, multiproxy approach will be utilized on cores from a transect from Whitewater Bay north to 10,000 Islands. Biochemical analyses of shells and chemical analyses of sediments will be used to refine data on salinity and nutrient supply, and isotopic analyses of shells will determine sources of water influx into the system. Nutrient analyses will be conducted to determine historical patterns of nutrient influx. To examine the inland migration of the mangrove/coastal marsh ecotone, transects from the mouth of the Shark and Harney Rivers inland into Shark River slough will be taken. These cores will be evaluated for floral remains, nutrients, charcoal, and if present, faunal remains. This project will provide 1) baseline data for restoration managers and hydrologic modelers on the amount and sources of freshwater influx into the southwest coastal zone and the quality of the water, 2) the relative position of the coastal marsh-mangrove ecotone at different periods in the past, and 3) data to test probabilities of system response to restoration changes.
One of the primary goals of the Central Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is to restore the natural flow of water through the terrestrial Everglades and into the coastal zones. Historically, Shark River Slough, which flows through the central portion of the Everglades southwestward, was the primary flow path through the Everglades Ecosystem. However, this flow has been dramatically reduced over the last century as construction of canals, water conservation areas and the Tamiami Trail either retained or diverted flow from Shark River Slough. The reduction in flow and changes in water quality through Shark River have had a profound effect on the freshwater marshes and the associated coastal ecosystems. Additionally, the flow reduction may have shifted the balance of fresh to salt-water inflow along coastal zones, resulting in an acceleration of the rate of inland migration of mangroves into the freshwater marshes. For successful restoration to occur, it is critical to understand how CERP and the natural patterns of freshwater flow, precipitation, and sea level rise will affect the future maintenance of the mangrove-freshwater marsh ecotone and the coastal environment.
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: G. Lynn Wingard Thomas Cronin, Debra Willard, Charles Holmes, William Orem, Gary Dwyer (Duke University)
Dataset Title: Ecosystem History of the Southwest Coast-Shark River Slough Outflow Area
Dataset Release Date: 2006Online Resource: http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/eh_swcsrs/
Start Date: 2003-10-01Stop Date: 2008-09-30
BIOSPHERE > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > WETLANDS
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE > GROUND WATER > GROUND WATER DISCHARGE/FLOW
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE > SURFACE WATER > DISCHARGE/FLOW
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE > WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY > NUTRIENTS
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE > WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY
OCEANS > SALINITY/DENSITY > SALINITY
BIOSPHERE > AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS > WETLANDS
Access Constraints None. The field data contained in this database have not been reviewed for publication and therefore may contain inconsistencies or errors.
Use Constraints These data are subject to change and are not citeable until reviewed and approved for official publication.
Data Set Progress
Distribution Size: 4.8
Distribution Format: MS Access
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Email: lwingard at usgs.gov
USGS 926A National Center
Province or State: VA
Postal Code: 20192
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Email: hhenkel at usgs.gov
U.S. Geological Survey - St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center 600 Fourth St. South
City: St. Petersburg
Province or State: FL
Postal Code: 33701
Wingard, G. Lynn, Cronin, Thomas M.; Holmes, Charles W.; Willard, Debra A.; Budet, Carlos A.; Ortiz, Ruth E., 2005, Descriptions and Preliminary Report on Sediment Cores from the Southwest Coast Area, Everglades National Park, Florida, USGS Open-File Report, 2005-1360, Reston,VA, U.S. Geological Survey.
Willard, Debra A., Weimer, ... Lisa M.; Riegel, W. L., 2001, Pollen assemblages as paleoenvironmental proxies in the Florida Everglades, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, v. 113, n. 4, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,Elsevier Science B.V., The full article is available via journal subscription or single article purchase. The abstract may be viewed on the Science Direct website by selecting the volume and issue number.
Willard, D. A., Holmes, C. W.; Weimer, L. M., 2001, The Florida Everglades Ecosystem: Climatic and Anthropogenic Impacts over the Last Two Millenia, Bulletins of American Paleontology, v. 361, Ithica, NY, Paleontological Research Institute, in Paleoecology of South Florida, B. R. Wardlaw, ed.
Wingard, G. Lynn, Budet, Carlos A.; Ortiz, Ruth E.; Hudley, Joel; Murray, James B., 2006, Descriptions and Preliminary Report on Sediment Cores from the Southwest Coastal Area, Part II: Collected July 2005, Everglades National Park, Florida, USGS Open-File Report, 2006-1271, Reston, VA, U.S. Geological Survey.
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2008-06-20
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-06-02