SS3.14 An Interdisciplinary Journey Towards Integrated Aquatic Sciences: Homage to Jacob Kalff
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Time: 3:15:00 PM
Location: Saanich
 
ThomasS, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Miami, USA, thomasse@fiu.edu
Gaiser, E, E, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Miami, USA, gaisere@fiu.edu
Gantar, M, , Southeast Environmental Research Center, Miami, USA, gantarm@fiu.edu
Scinto, L, J, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Miami, USA, scintol@fiu.edu
Jones, R, D, Southeast Environmental Research Center, Miami, USA, jonesd@fiu.edu
 
GROWTH OF CALCAREOUS EPILITHIC MATS IN MARGIN OF NATURAL AND POLLUTED HYDROSYSTEMS: PHOSPHORUS REMOVAL IMPLICATIONS (C-111 BASIN, EVERGLADES, FLORIDA)
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The Florida Everglades is a fragile wetland system naturally depleted in phosphorus (P). This hydrosystem has been heavily impacted by numerous human activities, including the draining of wetlands to provide water for agricultural and urban use. The result is a highly compartmentalized system with altered hydropatterns; wetlands receive canal discharges from diffuse agricultural/urban runoff containing high levels of pollutants, including P. Excess loading of P induces ecological changes and, in particular, periphyton, known as the main source of oxygen and energy, is heavily affected. An Everglades rehabilitation plan has been investigated to reestablish natural hydropatterns and decrease P loads. Levees adjacent to canals have been removed to rehabilitate marsh hydrology, and the exposed limestone bedrock favors the development of thick calcareous epilithic mats. We are studying how hydroperiod affects structural and functional aspects of early-successional periphyton communities. In particular, our experiments delineate the hydrologic regime and successional phase that promote the most efficient removal of P from water entering the marsh. Applications of managing buffering areas between polluted and natural hydrosystems in the Everglades are discussed.