Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research
Florida Coastal Everglades LTER - Current Working Groups
Current Working Groups

The current phase of the FCE LTER program is organized into four working groups and four cross-cutting themes. Each working group or cross-cutting theme focuses on a set of key research questions and/or major processes being quantified by the LTER program.
Working Groups Cross-cutting Themes
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In this study of FCE adjacent land use change, investigators seek to analyze and document the processes driving land use change in the region; link this data to biophysical data within the FCE; and, produce maps and models of the societal-ecological characteristics of land use change (focusing particularly on the degree of oligotrophy of the estuaries (Noe, Childers et al. 2001)). In the greater Everglades ecosystem, agricultural lands serve as critical buffers between the FCE and urban development. Due to the region's specific and historical land use trends and socioeconomic drivers (Harwell, Long et al. 1996; Solecki 2001), ecological-significant agricultural lands are most at risk for change. To understand the ecological impacts and processes driving this change, investigators will conduct qualitative and quantitative studies examining zoning characteristics, housing, real estate, and labor markets, as well as the economic, social and policy dynamics of regional farming practices.

While land use changes may alter ecological functioning at an ecosystem scale, land use change decisions take place at much smaller scales - households, local zoning boards, etc. (Brody, Carrasco et al. 2003; Brody, Highfield et al. 2004; Brody and Highfield 2005). To investigate various communities' perceptions of land use change, investigators will conduct interviews, community meetings and quantitative surveys with residents in the rural/agricultural buffer zones. Results of this socio-economic research will be linked to biophysical evidence (satellite imagery, aerial photography, monitoring data from FCE transects) to produce maps and models of historic and current patterns of land use change. Documentation of land use changes will then be correlated with historical changes in variables (such as urban storm water, sewer water, and fresh water flow into FCE transects) in adjacent urban-rural areas that have undergone land use changes. This analysis will help to link the human dimensions of land use change with the ecological investigations conducted by other FCE sub-groups.

Brody, S. D., V. Carrasco, et al. (2003). "Evaluating ecosystem management capabilities at the local level in Florida: Identifying policy gaps using geographic information systems." Environmental Management 32(6): 661-681.
Brody, S. D., W. Highfield, et al. (2004). "Measuring the collective planning capabilities of local jurisdictions to manage ecological systems in southern Florida." Landscape and Urban Planning 69(1): 33-50.
Brody, S. D. and W. E. Highfield (2005). "Does planning work? Testing the implementation of local environmental planning in Florida." Journal of the American Planning Association 71(2): 159-175.
Harwell, M. A., J. F. Long, et al. (1996). "Ecosystem management to achieve ecological sustainability: The case of South Florida." Environmental Management (Historical Archive) 20(4): 497-521.
Noe, G. B., D. L. Childers, et al. (2001). "Phosphorus biogeochemistry and the impact of phosphorus enrichment: Why is the everglades so unique?" Ecosystems 4(7): 603-624.
Solecki, W. D. (2001). "The role of global-to-local linkages in land use/land cover change in South Florida." Ecological Economics 37(3): 339-356.
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National Science Foundation logo This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DEB-1832229, #DEB-1237517, #DBI-0620409, and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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