Map of Florida Coastal Everglades LTER sites
Click on a site for detailed site information.
Established in 2000, the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-term Ecological Research
(FCE-LTER) project is part of the national LTER network created by the National Science
Foundation in 1980 to support research on long-term ecological phenomena in the United States.
Comprising 26 sites, the LTER network is a collaboration of over 1,800 scientists and
students who are investigating ecological processes over long time scales and broad
spatial scales. More information about the national LTER network can be found at
. The FCE LTER
program is based at Florida International University
and includes over 140 senior scientists, students, and staff from
20 universities, 6 state or federal agencies,
and 2 non-governmental organizations
Most of the FCE-LTER sites are located in the freshwater marsh, estuarine mangrove, and
seagrass-dominated estuarine ecosystems of the 2,358-m2
Everglades National Park.
Research focuses on understanding ecosystem processes along the park’s two major drainage
basins: Shark River Slough, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico, and Taylor Slough,
which drains to Florida Bay. Of particular interest to scientists are the
the regions where freshwater mixes with saltwater and the grassy marshes give way to mangrove forests.
Phase I of the FCE-LTER project was completed in 2006. A description
of this work can be found at http://fcelter.fiu.edu/research/?p=FCEI
and results are at
.With a completion
date of 2012, Phase II of the project focuses more intently on the estuarine ecotones in order to achieve a more complete understanding of these
unique areas and to investigate how changes in freshwater flow brought about by restoration activities will impact ecosystem processes.
Research is organized into four working groups and four cross-cutting themes
which address our key research questions.