Phosphorus enrichment effects on interactions among the ecosystem components in a long-hydroperiod oligotrophic marsh in Everglades National Park

Susan Kay Dailey, Florida International University

Abstract

Hydrology and a history of oligotrophy unite the massive landscape comprising freshwater marsh in Everglades National Park. With restoration of water flow to the Everglades, phosphorus (P) enrichment, both from agricultural and domestic sources, may increase nutrient load to the marsh ecosystem. Previous research of P enrichment of Everglades soil, periphyton, and macrophytes revealed each of these ecosystem components responds to increased P loads with increased production and nutrient content. Interactions among these ecosystem components and how P affects the magnitude and direction of interaction are poorly understood and are the focus of my research. Here I present results of a two-year, two-factor experiment of P enrichment and manipulation in Everglades National Park. I quantified biomass, nutrient content, and production for periphyton and macrophyes and found macrophyte removal drives change in nutrient content, biomass, and production of periphyton. Periphyton removal did not appear to control macrophyte dynamics. Soil chemical and physical characteristics were explained primarily by site differences but there was an enrichment effect of soil porewater nitrite + nitrate, nitrite, and soluble reactive phosphorus. Flocculent materials production and depth were significantly affected by macrophyte removal where depth and production were significantly greater with the no macrophyte treatment. The dominant macrophyte of the marsh, Eleocharis cellulosa, increased more in the unenriched marsh than in the enriched marsh. The combination of these findings suggests that dynamics in floc and periphyton are controlled primarily by the presence of periphyton and that this relationship is significantly affected by low-level P enrichment. These results may be valuable in their application to both managers and policy makers who are involved in the Everglades restoration process. ^

Subject Area

Biology, Ecology|Biology, Limnology

Recommended Citation

Susan Kay Dailey, "Phosphorus enrichment effects on interactions among the ecosystem components in a long-hydroperiod oligotrophic marsh in Everglades National Park" (January 1, 2000). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI9991046.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9991046

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