Gaiser, E. E. Florida International University, gaisere@fiu.edu
DeCelles, S. E. Florida International University, decelles@fiu.edu
Richards, J. H. Florida International University, richards@servax.fiu.edu

 
SEASONALITY AND SUCCESSION OF PERIPHYTON COMMUNITIES IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA.
 
Everglades marshes are often covered by a thick, floating periphyton mat that consists of an aggregated matrix of microalgae, free-floating macrophytes, microconsumers and detritus. The response of this community to increased phosphorus (P), the limiting nutrient in Everglades wetlands, is being examined in a large-scale, flow-through flume experiment. A full year of data were collected at 3 flumes to examine natural patterns of periphyton succession prior to P dosing. We monitored periphyton accumulation rates on artificial substrates at 2,4, 6 and 8 week intervals. Early colonizing taxa with fast replication rates were delineated from slowly replicating taxa that dominate older communities. The periphyton mat was also sampled bimonthly to assess seasonal patterns of change. Production, measured by mat cover, dry weight, ash-free dry weight, and chlorophyll a, was highest from August - December 1997, decreased significantly in late winter and early spring 1998, and increased again in July 1998. There were also notable compositional changes. Our combined data indicate that the structure, composition and growth rates of the periphyton mat show a seasonal pattern of change that may be related to temperature, hydrology and substrate availability.
 
Day: Friday, Feb. 5
Time: 09:15 - 09:30am
Location: Eldorado Hotel
 
Code: SS46FR0915E