Groundwater-surface water interactions on tree islands in the Everglades, south Florida

Pamela Lee Sullivan, Florida International University


The marked decline in tree island cover across the Everglades over the last century, has been attributed to landscape-scale hydrologic degradation. To preserve and restore Everglades tree islands, a clear understanding of tree island groundwater-surface water interactions is needed, as these interactions strongly influence the chemistry of shallow groundwater and the location and patterns of vegetation in many wetlands. The goal of this work was to define the relationship between groundwater-surface water interactions, plant-water uptake, and the groundwater geochemical condition of tree islands. Groundwater and surface water levels, temperature, and chemistry were monitored on eight constructed and one natural tree island in the Everglades from 2007–2010. Sap flow, diurnal water table fluctuations and stable oxygen isotopes of stem, ground and soil water were used to determine the effect of plant-water uptake on groundwater-surface water interactions. Hydrologic and geochemical modeling was used to further explore the effect of plant-groundwater-surface water interactions on ion concentrations and potential mineral formation.

Subject Area

Ecology|Hydrologic sciences|Biogeochemistry

Recommended Citation

Sullivan, Pamela Lee, "Groundwater-surface water interactions on tree islands in the Everglades, south Florida" (2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3502146.