Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research
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Ecological and Social Modeling Working Group
(Phase I, 2000-2006)

Information synthesis is a hierarchical modeling approach. The first tier is the development of process-based simulation models in real time and based upon ongoing research. It is designed to synthesize data as they are collected while also operating as an adaptive management tool. This tier is designed to emphasize structural and functional components and currently includes models of freshwater marsh periphyton, marsh macrophyte-soil interactions, and individual-based mangrove models. In the second tier of the modeling effort, the emphasis is on water budget models to estimate residence times for the freshwater and estuarine zones of both study basins and on societal models to evaluate human responses to water management and restoration. As in most coastal systems, water residence time couples internal ecological processes to variability in exogenous forcings. From these residence times, one is able to calculate constituent fluxes, turnover rates for various components, nutrient spiralling parameters, and constituent budget dynamics in both space and time. Site to region extrapolations are best accomplished by applying simulation models to regional spatial databases and spatially explicit models are the most efficient means of accomplishing this scaling up from the site level. Thus, the upper tier of the modeling and synthesis work involves integrating tier 1 and tier 2 models into a spatial modeling framework. These regional models also allow for the integration of the GIS database with the data synthesis. There are two major efforts currently underway to develop regional spatial models. The first, a process-based distributional biogeochemical approach, is the Everglades Landscape Model (ELM). The second, an individual-based upper trophic approach, is ATLSS (Across Trophic Level Simulation System).
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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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