FCE LTER Journal Articles


Biogeochemical Classification of South Florida’s Estuarine and Coastal Waters of Tropical Seagrasses


South Florida’s watersheds have endured a century of urban and agricultural development and disruption of their hydrology. Spatial characterization of South Florida’s estuarine and coastal waters is important to Everglades’ restoration programs. We applied Factor Analysis and Hierarchical Clustering of water quality data in tandem to characterize and spatially subdivide South Florida’s coastal and estuarine waters. Segmentation rendered forty-four biogeochemically distinct water bodies whose spatial distribution is closely linked to geomorphology, circulation, benthic community pattern, and to water management. This segmentation has been adopted with minor changes by federal and state environmental agencies to derive numeric nutrient criteria.


The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.07.034

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DBI-0620409 and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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