||Janicki Environmental, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL.; Environmental Protection Agency, Stennis Space Center, MS. Gulf of Mexico Program.; Tampa Bay National Estuary Program, St. Petersburg, FL.
The specific objectives of this project were to: identify and compile existing data and produce general characterization assessments (status and trends) for freshwater inflow, fish species, benthic species and communities, and vegetation for Tampa Bay and tidal tributaries and streams, assess potential relationships between freshwater inflow and biological effects in Tampa Bay tributaries, and develop a quantitative model to be used as a potential management tool to determine potential biological impacts of freshwater inflow on Tampa Bay tributaries. The diverse set of data available to examine relationships between freshwater inflow and biological resource responses in the Alafia River were compiled, integrated, and documented by this project. This comprehensive database represents a very important resource for ongoing work on the Alafia River, and the data will be capable of being readily expanded in the future as additional data are reported. In the pilot study portion of the project, Artificial Neural Networks were demonstrated to provide a powerful tool for studying relationships between biotic and abiotic factors in ecological modeling.