The primary goal of this work plan is to assess how increased movement of fresh water, nutrients, and organic matter from the S-332/S-332D structures and C-111 canal affects the freshwater and mangrove wetlands of the Southern Everglades. A coincident goal is to assess how wetland ecological dynamics will ultimately control the effects of these management strategies on Florida Bay. Addressing these goals will involve continuing to quantify the ecosystem processes and environmental controls that influence water and materials exchange between inputs, freshwater wetlands, estuarine wetlands, and Florida Bay. These questions and objectives are currently being addressed through separate SFWMD contracts, and a key goal of this work plan is to integrate all our current wetland monitoring and research efforts into a single Southern Everglades integrated program. The objectives and tasks described below will continue this monitoring and research effort in a coordinated fashion, and will inherently also involve similar work in Shark River Slough through the SFWDM-FCE LTER partnership we describe below. Major objectives of this work plan are described below:
1. monitoring water quality dynamics in Southern Everglades watersheds;
2. quantifying responses of marsh ecosystem structure to changes in water management;
3. quantifying responses of marsh ecosystem function to changes in water management and;
4. using dynamic budget modeling at the landscape scale to integrate components 1-3.