FCE LTER Journal Articles


Modeling the impact of restoration efforts on phosphorus loading and transport through Everglades National Park, FL, USA


Ecosystems of Florida Everglades are highly sensitive to phosphorus loading. Future restoration efforts, which focus on restoring Everglades water flows, may pose a threat to the health of these ecosystems. To determine the fate and transport of total phosphorus and evaluate proposed Everglades restoration, a water quality model has been developed using the hydrodynamic results from the M3ENP (Mike Marsh Model of Everglades National Park) — a physically-based hydrological numerical model which uses MIKE SHE/MIKE 11 software. Using advection–dispersion with reactive transport for the model, parameters were optimized and phosphorus loading in the overland water column was modeled with good accuracy (60%). The calibrated M3ENP-AD model was then modified to include future bridge construction and canal water level changes, which have shown to increase flows into ENP. These bridge additions increased total dissolved phosphorus (TP) load downstream in Shark Slough and decreased TP load in downstream Taylor Slough. However, there was a general decrease in TP concentration and TP mass per area over the entire model domain. The M3ENP-AD model has determined the mechanisms for TP transport and quantified the impacts of ENP restoration efforts on the spatial–temporal distribution of phosphorus transport. This tool can be used to guide future Everglades restoration decisions.



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 #DEB-1237517, #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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