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In 2005 we began a multi-year intensive monitoring and assessment study of tropical hardwood hammocks within two distinct hydrologic regions in Everglades National Park, under funding from the CERP Monitoring and Assessment Program. In serving as an Annual Report for 2010, this document, reports in detail on the population dynamics and status of tropical hardwood hammocks in Shark Slough and adjacent marl prairies during a 4-year period between 2005 and 2009. 2005-09 was a period that saw a marked drawdown in marsh water levels (July 2006 - July 2008), and an active hurricane season in 2005 with two hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina and Wilma, making landfall over south Florida. Thus much of our focus here is on the responses of these forests to annual variation in marsh water level, and on recovery from disturbance. Most of the data are from 16 rectangular permanent plots of 225-625 m2 , with all trees mapped and tagged, and bi-annual sampling of the tree, sapling, shrub, and herb layer in a nested design. At each visit, canopy photos were taken and later analyzed for determination of interannual variation in leaf area index and canopy openness. Three of the plots were sampled at 2-month intervals, in order to gain a better idea of seasonal dynamics in litterfall and litter turnover. Changes in canopy structure were monitored through a vertical line intercept method.
Ruiz, Pablo L.; Sah, Jay P.; Ross, Michael S.; Rodriguez, Diana L.; and Lambert, Allison M., "Monitoring of Tree Island Conditions in the Southern Everglades: The Effects of Hurricanes and Hydrology on the Status and Population Dynamics of Sixteen Tropical Hardwood Hammock Tree Islands" (2011). SERC Research Reports. 95.
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