Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research
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Human Dimensions Cross-Cutting Theme
(Phase II, 2007-2012)

The FCE-LTER project was expanded in Phase II to include study of human dimensions. Researchers want to know what social and economic processes drive land use change in areas adjacent to the coastal Everglades and how these changes affect the quantity and quality of water flowing along the projectís Taylor Slough and Shark River Slough transects. Researchers are using information about past and present land use to develop conceptual models of the social process of land use change as well as predictive models of future land use change and associated societal-ecological interactions.

For example, agricultural lands historically served as buffers between the Everglades and the urban environment. Today, however, these agricultural lands are at risk of being transformed into urban lands. In order to understand the social processes driving this change, researchers are conducting qualitative and quantitative studies to examine zoning characteristics, housing, real estate, and labor markets, as well as the economic, social and policy dynamics of regional farming practices.

How do these factors affect people in south Florida?
Land use change in not necessarily an equitable process. For instance, urban renewal projects may benefit those who own property in formally blighted areas, while related rent increases may force vulnerable populations to be priced out of their homes. In addition, land use change often brings dramatic changes in patterns of production (jobs and the way food is produced), consumption (how food, services, and products are acquired), and access to recreational activities.

Strawberry field between an urban area and the Everglades
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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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