In Phase II of the FCE-LTER project, scientists are studying the impacts of freshwater
inflows, marine inputs, and groundwater
on nutrient concentrations and
in the estuarine ecotone.
During Phase I, they found that long water residence times
and inputs of phosphorus-rich groundwater were important to
nutrient dynamics and
belowground productivity, particularly during the dry season, in the Taylor Slough
ecotone. Now researchers are expanding this focus to quantify groundwater nutrient
inputs, estimate atmospheric inputs, and determine how nitrogen and phosphorus
cycling are related to each other and how they are controlled. Scientists are using
samples of soils, floc, and
periphyton to investigate
nitrogen cycling rates and they are examining the influence of bacterial communities
on carbon and nitrogen cycles.
How do these factors affect people in south Florida?
The Everglades ecosystem and the services it provides as the largest freshwater
wetland in the U.S. help to maintain the environment and the economy of south Florida.
Our work shows how the ecosystem may respond to factors that might alter its
ability to continue providing those services.
Flume used to measure fluxes of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) between a mangrove
forest and adjacent tidal creek in Shark River Slough
Taking a soil core in Taylor Slough
Programming an autosampler to collect water samples