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The study supports Lower West Coast projects in the Department Of Interior (DOI) science plan (specifically: Southwest Florida Feasibility Study and C-43 Basin Storage Reservoir) by (a) developing stress-response models of habitat for coastal species selected during Caloosahatchee conceptual modeling and (b) developing integrated assessment tools to support landscape level decision-making.
Frank Mazzotti Ken Rice; Laura Brandt, 2006, Ecological Models for Evaluating Effects of Restoration Alternatives on Coastal Ecosystems of Southwest Florida.
Project personnel include: Kevin Chartier and Adam Dougherty
954 577-6304 (voice)
The SWFFS is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The SWFFS will result in an independent but integrated implementation plan for CERP projects. The SWFFS will provide a framework to address the health and sustainability of aquatic systems. This includes water quantity and quality, flood protection, and ecological integrity. The SWFFS was initiated in recognition of the fact that there were additional water resource issues (needs, problems, and opportunities) within southwest Florida that were not being addressed directly by CERP. A purpose of the SWFFS is to identify alternatives that address those issues in the study area. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effects of those alternatives on coastal systems of southwest Florida.
Coastal: Five ecological suitability models, Blue Crab, Eastern Oyster, Spotted Sea Trout, Seagrasses (Halodule and Thalassia) and freshwater submerged grass Valisneria have been completed and incorporated as modules into a decision interface that allows the user to perform pair-wise comparisons of spatially-explicit species habitat suitability model runs against alternative Caloosahatchee River water release scenarios, examine the contribution of each input variables (e.g., salinity, temperature, flow) to the resulting suitability values, and obtain habitat units for decision models.
Inland: Meetings with the SWFFS Natural Systems Group are resulting in a series inland systems performance measures and modeling efforts that will be incorporated as modules in a decision interface. Dale Gawlik and Philip Heidemann have been collecting in-depth information in one-on-one interviews with wading bird experts in Southwestern Florida and completed a conceptual model with associated parameter values to be coded. An amphibian work group composed of Mike Duever, Ken Rice, Harden Waddle, and David Ceilly has completed a conceptual model with associated parameter values to be coded. Work on potential performance measures for landscape connectivity of large mammals, and models of aquatic fauna communities begins in September.
Early April work continued development of inland habitat models. The initial models were presented for comments to the NSG twice in May and from biologist at the GEER conference in early June. At the end of June all of the models (wading birds, amphibian communities, aquatic fauna communities, and large mammal connectivity and roadkill risk index) were operational, but untested.
Coastal/Estuarine Model Expansion: The current estuarine forecasting model will be expanded to include Estero Bay and will include all species appropriate for that region. Models will be calibrated and refined for Estero Bay and new documentation will be developed where necessary.
Inland Forecasting Model calibration, refinement, and documentation: The HSI models that make up the inland forecasting model will be evaluated, refined, calibrated, and verified using available scientific data and local scientific knowledge as hydrologic output become available. HSI models will be documented in the accepted IMC format.
Alternative Assessment: Restoration alternatives (project designs) will be evaluated using the ecological forecasting models. In addition, a 2000 base run and a 2050 without project run will be performed. This process includes the capture of hydrologic data and the conversion of this data into a usable format. Modeled results will be delivered in an Excel format. In addition results will be integrated into a decision support system for further project alternative evaluation.
Training: University of Florida (UF) will train district staff to operate modeling software for future modeling efforts.
Person who carried out this activity:
954 577-6304 (voice)
Pearlstine, L. G. Mazzotti, F J., 2004, Spatial Decision Support Systems for Landscape Ecological Evaluations in the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study: USGS Fact Sheet 2004-3113, U.S. Geological Survey, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Pearlstine, Leonard DeAngelis, Donald; Mazzotti, Fr, 2006, Spatial Decision Support Systems for Landscape Ecological Evaluations in the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study (CIRC 1479): Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department Circular 1479, University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Models for the Eastern Oyster, Blue Crab, Sea Trout, Sea Grasses (Halodule and Thalassia), and a Freshwater Submerged Grass (Vallisneria) have been completed and are being used for alternative selection. The Eastern Oyster, Blue Crab, and Sea Trout models have been submitted to the Interagency Modeling Center.
Criteria for assessing ecological effects to southwestern Florida are being developed at three principal scales. The criteria address changes in: (1) potential habitat distributions and quality for individual species, (2) community composition and hydrologic characteristics, and (3) landscape connectivity.
Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?
- Access_Constraints: none
- Use_Constraints: none
954 577-6304 (voice)
The data have no explicit or implied guarantees.
Contact Frank Mazzotti for information about and accessibility to model data and programs.
727 803-8747 ext 3028 (voice)
727 803-2030 (FAX)
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