Evidence of Recent Phosphorus Enrichment in Surface Soils of Taylor Slough and Northeast Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park (ENP) is the last hydrologic unit in the series of impounded marsh units that make up the present-day Everglades. The ENP receives water from upstream Water Conservation Areas via canals and water control structures that are highly regulated for flood control, water supply, wildlife management, concerns about poor water quality and the potential for downstream ecosystem degradation. Recent surveys of surface soils in ENP, designed for random sampling for spatial analysis of soil nutrients, did not sample proximate to inflow structures and thus did not detect increased soil phosphorus associated with these water conveyances. This study specifically addressed these areas in a focused sampling effort at three key inflow points in northeast ENP which revealed elevated soil TP proximate to inflows. Two transects extending down Shark River Slough and one down Taylor Slough (a natural watershed of particular ecological value) were found to have soil TP levels in excess of 500 mg kg−1—a threshold above which P enrichment is indicated. These findings suggest the negative impact of elevated water (P) from surface flows and support the assertion that significant soil TP enrichment is occurring in Taylor Slough and other areas of northeastern ENP.
Osborne, T.Z., K.R. Reddy, L.R. Ellis, N. Aumen, D.D. Surratt, M.S. Zimmerman, J. Sadle. 2013. Evidence of Recent Phosphorus Enrichment in Surface Soils of Taylor Slough and Northeast Everglades National Park. Wetlands DOI: 10.1007/s13157-013-0381-5