|Session III: Posters
||Abstract #: 97307
WATER BUDGET AND NUTRIENT EXCHANGE AT THE EVERGLADES' SALINITY TRANSITION ZONE
Enrique Reyes, Martha Sutula, and John W. Day
Coastal Ecology Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
The purpose of this project is to simulate the exchange of water and nutrient between Florida Bay and the adjacent mangrove wetlands and understand the processes that influence this exchange. Understanding the link between biological and chemical dynamics, and hydropatterns is a necessary precursor to effectively restoring Florida Bay ecological system. A dynamic process model can help to predict the effect of changing freshwater inflow to Florida Bay on the status of mangroves and nutrient availability. The transition zone ecosystem is connected both to land and sea. It is likely that the ecology of the transition zone is highly sensitive to the quantity and quality of water in the Everglades watershed and thus, sensitive to water management practices. Seaward connection is provided by the inflow of saline water driven by tides and wind events. To integrate all the ecological processes with hydraulics, a predictive model of flux of materials between mangroves and Florida bay was developed. We plan to further use this model to analyze nutrient behavior under several water management regimes.
The objectives are: (a) Quantify the exchange of water and nutrients between Florida Bay and fringing mangroves. (b) Compare patterns of water and nutrient exchange, as measured in mangrove creeks, to these patterns within the adjacent mangrove wetland. (c) Simulate nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in the water column for three representative zones of Taylor River. The model is spatially articulated to account for nutrient kinetics in three areas or cells': a fringe mangrove zone, an open water area, and a dwarf mangrove. Given the hydraulic dynamics the time step is 3 hrs and length of the simulation is one year.