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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Carbon Cycling Cross-Cutting Theme
Mangrove forest at FCE site SRS-6Mangrove forest at FCE site SRS-6
Photo by Stephen Davis
The FCE LTER program has a new initiative to determine how the balance of fresh and marine water supplies to the estuarine ecotone will control the rates and pathways of carbon storage and export. This new focus on carbon cycling is an exciting direction for FCE, as understanding the mechanisms of how global, regional, and local processes interact with CO2 uptake, storage, and export is paramount to anticipating how coastal ecosystems will respond to sea level rise and, possibly, the counteracting influence of fresh water restoration. Until recently, little was known about carbon cycling, or mechanisms controlling carbon variability, in coastal ecosystems. Building on our recent findings that mangrove forests sequester globally-relevant quantities of CO2 at rates that are sensitive to climate change and disturbance, we will place a special focus of FCE III biophysical research on how the balance of fresh and marine water supplies influence CO2 uptake, storage, and export, by modifying biological response to three key interacting drivers: phosphorus availability, salinity, and water residence time.

How do these factors affect people in south Florida?

Plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and if this uptake exceeds the loss of carbon from the soils they produce, can be a significant sink to help offset the global CO2 rise and associated problems. While we know that mangrove forests and seagrass beds can remove and store large amounts of carbon, we do not know how this important global function will change with sea level rise or restoration of fresh water flows.
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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.
Please address questions or comments about this website to: fcelter@fiu.edu.
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