Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research
Untitled Document


Climate and Disturbance Cross-Cutting Theme
(Phase II, 2007-2012)

Hypotheses and Proposed Work for FCE II (2006-2012)

General Question: How is the location and the spatial extent of the oligohaline ecotone controlled by changes in climate (precipitation, temperature, wet vs. dry years), freshwater inflow (management, restoration, and the "Grand Experiment"), and disturbance (sea level rise, hurricanes, fire)?

Approach - We will address this question with climate and water level data collected at our FCE sites and monitoring stations operated by ENP and the USGS. Our FCE II research will also include new measurements of freshwater flows to our ecotone regions (see Section 2.A). We will evaluate landscape-scale changes in ecotone vegetation (mean plant height, crown size, and biomass; Simard et al. 2006) using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) in Years 1 and 5, in collaboration with the International Hurricane Research Center, at FIU. These will include separate surveys of our SRS and TS/Ph transects, with multiple flight transects along each. We successfully used this technology in our SRS ecotone region in collaboration with M. Simard (NASA JPL; Zhang et al. 2004). We will continue to work with Zhang (FIU) and Simard (JPL) during FCE II (Zhang and Whitman, 2005). We will also continue to document vertical soil dynamics by measuring soil elevation change and surficial accretion by continuing our soil elevation table (SET) work at sites in the SRS ecotone (K.Whelan & T.Smith; USGS; Whelan et al., 2005) and the TS/Ph ecotone (F.Sklar & C. Coronado-Molina, SFWMD). Finally, we will continue to reconstruct historical changes in hydroperiod across the coastal Everglades using sedimentological (Saunders et al. 2006) and isotope-dendrological methods (Anderson et al., 2005). We will relate these records to existing teleconnection indices (NAO, NAtl, ENSO and PNA) to investigate long-term relationships between global climatic drivers and biophysical dynamics at the FCE LTER (Enfield and Alfaro, 1999; Rosenheim et al., 2005; Tan and Neelin, 2004).

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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-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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