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In the southern Everglades, vegetation in both the marl prairie and ridge and slough landscapes is sensitive to large-scale restoration activities associated with the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2000 to restore the south Florida ecosystem. More specifically, changes in hydrologic regimes at both local and landscape scales are likely to affect vegetation composition along marl prairie-slough gradient resulting in a shift in boundary between plant communities in these landscapes. To strengthen our ability to assess how vegetation would respond to changes in underlying ecosystem drivers along the gradient, an improved understanding of reference conditions of plant community structure and function, and their responses to major stressors is important. In this regard, a study of vegetation structure and composition in relation to physical and biological processes along the marl prairie-slough gradient was initiated in 2005, and has continued through 2012 with funding from US Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) (Cooperative Agreement # W912HZ-09-2-0018 Modification No.: P00002). This study addresses the hypothesis with respect to RECOVER-MAP monitoring item – “Marl Prairie/Slough Gradients; patterns and trends in Shark Slough marshes and associated marl prairies”.


A report from the South Florida Terrestrial Ecosystems Lab (SOFTEL).



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