Estuarine productivity is highly dependent on the freshwater sources of the estuary. In Florida Bay, Taylor Slough was historically the main source of fresh water. Beginning in about 1960, and culminating with the completion of the South Dade Conveyance System in 1984, water management practice began to change the quantity and distribution of flow from Taylor Slough into Northeastern Florida Bay. These practices altered salinity and hydrologic parameters that had measurable negative impacts on vertebrate fauna and their habitats. Here, I review those impacts from published and unpublished literature and anecdotal observations. Almost all vertebrates covered in this review have shown some form of population decline since 1984; most of the studies implicate declines in food resources as the main stressor on their populations. My conclusion is that the diversion of fresh water resulted in an ecological cascade starting with hydrologic stresses on primary then secondary producers culminating in population declines at the top of the food web.
Lorenz, J.J.. 2013. A Review of the Effects of Altered Hydrology and Salinity on Vertebrate Fauna and Their Habitats in Northeastern Florida Bay. Wetlands DOI: 10.1007/s13157-013-0377-1