Document Type



Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Michael S. Ross

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Leonard J. Scinto

Third Advisor's Name

Steven F. Oberbauer


Nutrient limitation, Tree islands, Fertilization, Plant growth, leaf N:P, δ13C, δ15N

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to determine the general patterns of response by tree species common to Everglades Tree Islands (TI) when conditions limiting optimal growth are improved by fertilization on LILA tree islands. Experiments were conducted on constructed TI in the Loxahatchee Impoundment Landscape Assessment (LILA). Thirty-six trees of two species, Annona glabra and Chrysobalanus icaco, were randomly selected on each of four tree islands. Two tree islands have peat overlying limestone cores and two are composed solely of peat. Each tree was treated with one of three nutrient regimes: +N, +P, or Control (no addition of nutrients). A highly significant P-treatment effect on growth rate, leaf TP and leaf N:P ratio were observed in both species in comparison to Control trees. In contrast, neither of the species responded to N-fertilization. The mass N:P ratios and δ13C in P-treated trees exhibited a positive correlation with Relative Elevation (RE) for both species. These findings suggested that the tree growth at LILA tree islands was P-limited on both substrates (limestone and peat).





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