FCE LTER Journal Articles


Spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) along two freshwater-estuarine transects in the Florida Coastal Everglades


We present here a 4-year dataset (2001–2004) on the spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) by dominant primary producers (sawgrass, periphyton, mangroves, and seagrasses) along two transects in the oligotrophic Florida Everglades coastal landscape. The 17 sites of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) program are located along fresh-estuarine gradients in Shark River Slough (SRS) and Taylor River/C-111/Florida Bay (TS/Ph) basins that drain the western and southern Everglades, respectively. Within the SRS basin, sawgrass and periphyton ANPP did not differ significantly among sites but mangrove ANPP was highest at the site nearest the Gulf of Mexico. In the southern Everglades transect, there was a productivity peak in sawgrass and periphyton at the upper estuarine ecotone within Taylor River but no trends were observed in the C-111 Basin for either primary producer. Over the 4 years, average sawgrass ANPP in both basins ranged from 255 to 606 g m−2 year−1. Average periphyton productivity at SRS and TS/Ph was 17–68 g C m−2 year−1 and 342–10371 g C m−2 year−1, respectively. Mangrove productivity ranged from 340 g m−2 year−1 at Taylor River to 2208 g m−2 year−1 at the lower estuarine Shark River site. Average Thalassia testudinum productivity ranged from 91 to 396 g m−2 year−1 and was 4-fold greater at the site nearest the Gulf of Mexico than in eastern Florida Bay. There were no differences in periphyton productivity at Florida Bay. Interannual comparisons revealed no significant differences within each primary producer at either SRS or TS/Ph with the exception of sawgrass at SRS and the C−111 Basin. Future research will address difficulties in assessing and comparing ANPP of different primary producers along gradients as well as the significance of belowground production to the total productivity of this ecosystem.


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 #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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