Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Leonard J. Scinto

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Krishnaswamy Jayachandran

Third Advisor's Name

Michael Ross

Keywords

Everglades, Tree Islands, Water level, Soil, Restoration

Date of Defense

11-13-2013

Abstract

Soil building processes were studied in reconstructed tree islands in the Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment, Florida. Soil building was evaluated by measuring litter production, litter decomposition, soil accretion, and changes in soil elevation under different hydrologic conditions, and by determining physicochemical characteristics of newly accreted soils. Tree islands showed higher litter production and soil accretion but a larger loss of soil elevation caused by subsidence at higher elevations and shorter inundation periods. Newly accreted soils exhibited higher nutrient concentrations, and organic matter (OM) than older soils. Most of the soil phosphorus was stored in the organic fraction. A positive correlation was found between soil nutrients and OM. Reconstructed tree islands are increasing in soil OM and nutrients, generating a positive feedback that increases tree productivity, and soil building. These findings contribute to the understanding of tree islands’ dynamics and can be used by managers for restoration efforts in the Everglades.

Identifier

FI13120612

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