Tavernier Science Center

Tavernier, FL, United States

Tavernier Science Center

Tavernier, FL, United States
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Kelble C.R.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Loomis D.K.,East Carolina University | Lovelace S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Nuttle W.K.,Eco Hydrology | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

There is a pressing need to integrate biophysical and human dimensions science to better inform holistic ecosystem management supporting the transition from single species or single-sector management to multi-sector ecosystem-based management. Ecosystem-based management should focus upon ecosystem services, since they reflect societal goals, values, desires, and benefits. The inclusion of ecosystem services into holistic management strategies improves management by better capturing the diversity of positive and negative human-natural interactions and making explicit the benefits to society. To facilitate this inclusion, we propose a conceptual model that merges the broadly applied Driver, Pressure, State, Impact, and Response (DPSIR) conceptual model with ecosystem services yielding a Driver, Pressure, State, Ecosystem service, and Response (EBM-DPSER) conceptual model. The impact module in traditional DPSIR models focuses attention upon negative anthropomorphic impacts on the ecosystem; by replacing impacts with ecosystem services the EBM-DPSER model incorporates not only negative, but also positive changes in the ecosystem. Responses occur as a result of changes in ecosystem services and include inter alia management actions directed at proactively altering human population or individual behavior and infrastructure to meet societal goals. The EBM-DPSER conceptual model was applied to the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas marine ecosystem as a case study to illustrate how it can inform management decisions. This case study captures our system-level understanding and results in a more holistic representation of ecosystem and human society interactions, thus improving our ability to identify trade-offs. The EBM-DPSER model should be a useful operational tool for implementing EBM, in that it fully integrates our knowledge of all ecosystem components while focusing management attention upon those aspects of the ecosystem most important to human society and does so within a framework already familiar to resource managers.

Kline J.L.,South Florida Natural Resources Center | Loftus W.F.,Aquatic Research and Communication LLC | Kotun K.,South Florida Natural Resources Center | Trexler J.C.,Florida International University | And 3 more authors.
Wetlands | Year: 2014

Non-native fishes present a management challenge to maintaining Everglades National Park (ENP) in a natural state. We summarized data from long-term fish monitoring studies in ENP and reviewed the timing of introductions relative to water-management changes. Beginning in the early 1950s, management actions have added canals, altered wetland habitats by flooding and drainage, and changed inflows into ENP, particularly in the Taylor Slough/C-111 basin and Rocky Glades. The first nonnative fishes likely entered ENP by the late 1960s, but species numbers increased sharply in the early 1980s when new water-management actions were implemented. After 1999, eight non-native species and three native species, all previously recorded outside of Park boundaries, were found for the first time in ENP. Several of these incursions occurred following structural and operational changes that redirected water deliveries to wetlands open to the eastern boundary canals. Once established, control non-native fishes in Everglades wetlands is difficult; therefore, preventing introductions is key to their management. Integrating actions that minimize the spread of non-native species into protected natural areas into the adaptive management process for planning, development, and operation of watermanagement features may help to achieve the full suite of objectives for Everglades restoration. © US Government 2013.

Kerfoot Jr. J.R.,Florida Institute of Technology | Kerfoot Jr. J.R.,Union University at Jackson | Lorenz J.J.,Tavernier Science Center | Turingan R.G.,Florida Institute of Technology
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2011

Environmental factors, such as temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and pH may influence the population dynamics of an introduced species by imposing limits to its distribution and abundance. In 1957, the non-indigenous pike killifish, Belonesox belizanus Kner, was released into a Miami-Dade County, Florida, canal, from which it has since spread across most of south Florida. The main goal of this study was to characterize patterns of covariation between B. belizanus density and temporal, spatial, and physicochemical variables, and attempt to identify which physicochemical variables may explain variation in densities of this species. Results of AICc model selection indicated that patterns of physicochemical variables such as pH, salinity, and temperature correlated with annual change in B. belizanus density, and that these physicochemical-density patterns were mesohabitat specific. For the southern most sites, the interaction between temperature and salinity provide the best model to explain B. belizanus density, whereas variability in pH provides the best model at northern sites. These patterns of covariance between density and specific physicochemical variables suggests that specific mesohabitat characteristics may play a role in mediating the physiological, behavioral, and/or ecological performance of this introduced species in Florida and elsewhere. Future studies will test hypotheses on the direct and indirect effects of these physicochemical variables within the context of specific mesohabitats on the behavior and physiology of B. belizanus in its novel environment in South Florida. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

The coastal wetlands of northeastern Florida Bay are seasonally-inundated dwarf mangrove habitat and serve as a primary foraging ground for wading birds nesting in Florida Bay. A common paradigm in pulse-inundated wetlands is that prey base fishes increase in abundance while the wetland is flooded and then become highly concentrated in deeper water refuges as water levels recede, becoming highly available to wading birds whose nesting success depends on these concentrations. Although widely accepted, the relationship between water levels, prey availability and nesting success has rarely been quantified. I examine this paradigm using Roseate Spoonbills that nest on the islands in northeastern Florida Bay and forage on the mainland. Spoonbill nesting success and water levels on their foraging grounds have been monitored since 1987 and prey base fishes have been systematically sampled at as many as 10 known spoonbill foraging sites since 1990. Results demonstrated that the relationship between water level and prey abundance was not linear but rather there is likely a threshold, or series of thresholds, in water level that result in concentrated prey. Furthermore, the study indicates that spoonbills require water level-induced prey concentrations in order to have enough food available to successfully raise young. © Society of Wetland Scientists 2013.

Wingard G.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Lorenz J.J.,Tavernier Science Center
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2014

The coastal wetlands of southwest Florida that extend from Charlotte Harbor south to Cape Sable, containmore than 60,000 ha of mangroves and 22,177 ha of salt marsh. These coastal wetlands form a transitionzone between the freshwater and marine environments of the South Florida Coastal Marine Ecosystem(SFCME). The coastal wetlands provide diverse ecosystem services that are valued by society and thus areimportant to the economy of the state. Species from throughout the region spend part of their life cyclein the coastal wetlands, including many marine and coastal-dependent species, making this zone critical to the ecosystem health of the Everglades and the SFCME. However, the coastal wetlands are increas-ingly vulnerable due to rising sea level, changes in storm intensity and frequency, land use, and water management practices. They are at the boundary of the region covered by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and thus are impacted by both CERP and marine resource management deci-sions. An integrated conceptual ecological model (ICEM) for the southwest coastal wetlands of Floridawas developed that illustrates the linkages between drivers, pressures, ecological process, and ecosystemservices. Five ecological indicators are presented: (1) mangrove community structure and spatial extent;(2) waterbirds; (3) prey-base fish and macroinvertebrates; (4) crocodilians; and (5) periphyton. Most ofthese indicators are already used in other areas of south Florida and the SFCME, and therefore will allow metrics from the coastal wetlands to be used in system-wide assessments that incorporate the entire Greater Everglades Ecosystem.

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