Science Inventory

Enhancement of Ecosystem Services through Active Management of a Eutrophic Area of the Florida Everglades

Citation:

NEWMAN, S., S. HAGERTHEY, M. COOK, B. BELLINGER, M. KOBZA, M. MANNA, K. SEITZ, AND R. SHUFORD. Enhancement of Ecosystem Services through Active Management of a Eutrophic Area of the Florida Everglades . Presented at North American Benthological Society (NABS) , Providence, RI, May 22 - 26, 2011.

Impact/Purpose:

Ecosystem services of wetlands are relevant when considering management decisions and assessing restoration success. However, many services (e.g., biochemistry, wildlife habitat) are difficult to quantify and value (e.g., monetize), requiring non-use valuations (e.g., indicators). In the Florida Everglades a multi-billion dollar restoration effort is underway to preserve or restore this anthropogenically-altered region. For example, excessive phosphorus inputs created monotypic cattail stands, replacing the complex sawgrass ridge/slough mosaic and eliminating associated ecological functions. Cattail expansion has increased anoxia and sediment accretion, and reduced wildlife abundance and diversity. In the Cattail Habitat Improvement Project (CHIP), a nutrient-impacted area was managed with the goal of enhancing ecological functioning and services. Open plots were established by removing cattail through a combination of herbicides and fire, resulting in re-establishment of native hydrophytes (macrophytes and algae), and enhanced floral diversity. Subsequent responses included greater aquatic primary production and enhanced microbial activity. Altered habitat structure and environmental conditions stimulated development of a more productive and diverse forage (fish and invertebrate) and consumer community. This study shows how active management of eutrophic wetlands enhanced multiple ecosystem services.

Description:

Ecosystem services of wetlands are relevant when considering management decisions and assessing restoration success. However, many services (e.g., biochemistry, wildlife habitat) are difficult to quantify and value (e.g., monetize), requiring non-use valuations (e.g., indicators). In the Florida Everglades a multi-billion dollar restoration effort is underway to preserve or restore this anthropogenically-altered region. For example, excessive phosphorus inputs created monotypic cattail stands, replacing the complex sawgrass ridge/slough mosaic and eliminating associated ecological functions. Cattail expansion has increased anoxia and sediment accretion, and reduced wildlife abundance and diversity. In the Cattail Habitat Improvement Project (CHIP), a nutrient-impacted area was managed with the goal of enhancing ecological functioning and services. Open plots were established by removing cattail through a combination of herbicides and fire, resulting in re-establishment of native hydrophytes (macrophytes and algae), and enhanced floral diversity. Subsequent responses included greater aquatic primary production and enhanced microbial activity. Altered habitat structure and environmental conditions stimulated development of a more productive and diverse forage (fish and invertebrate) and consumer community. This study shows how active management of eutrophic wetlands enhanced multiple ecosystem services.

URLs/Downloads:

5453BELLINGER.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 7 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 05/22/2011
Record Last Revised: 12/03/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 233332

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION

WATERSHED DIAGNOSTICS RESEARCH