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Synthesis by the Aquatic Cycling of Mercury in the Everglades

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Project Investigator: David P. Krabbenhoft

Project Start Date: 1998 End Date: 2000


The objective this proposed work is to bring to fruition the research conducted by the ACME project.

The toxicological manifestation of mercury contamination varies widely among ecosystems; some ecosystems show little transference of mercury to the food web (bioaccumulation), while others show efficient transfer into living organisms. Such is the case with the Florida Everglades. For the past three years, the Aquatic Cycling of Mercury in the Everglades (ACME) project has been investigating the factors controlling mercury cycling and bioaccumulation. The objective this proposed work is to bring to fruition the research conducted by the ACME project. Products from the synthesis (databases, scientific papers, overall synthesis document) will be valuable for State of Florida managers who are cunimily making restoration design decisions. In addition, because mercury is globally distributed, our results will be transferable worldwide to other scientists and ecosystem managers.

The Aquatic Cycling of Mercury in the Everglades (ACME) project was originally designed to examine the reasons behind the observed high levels of mercury in predatory fish across most at the Everglades, and to do so by focusing on fundamental biogeochemical processes. The overall goal of the ACME project was to provide information that would be useful to state and federal management agencies responsible for making Everglades restoration plans, and to hopefully include strategies for reducing mercury toxicity to this fragile ecosystem. Originally, the scientific breadth of the ACME project was limited to critical areas of study central to the mercury contamination issue. After initiation of field studies in 1995, however, substantial information gaps in many basic areas of ecosystem research were revealed for the Everglades (e.g., hydrology, microbiology, and food web studies). As a result, the scope of our effort was expanded to what now is a more complete, general study of biogeochemistry of the Everglades ecosystem. In addition, our geographic coverage was expanded from original plans that called for focusing on just the northern Water Conservation areas, to now, where we sample a complete north-to-south transect of the remaining Everglades (Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge to Taylor Slough).

ACME study results to date have resulted in four refereed journal papers (with four others currently either submitted or in preparation stages) and many presentations at national and international meetings (see ACME Project Bibliography). While these products have provided a start toward our synthesis goals, most of our major research findings will be produced under this proposed synthesis effort. We will accomplish our synthesis goals by three principal means: (1) coalescing and uploading project data to the Web via a data server, (2) preparation and publication of manuscripts in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals, and (3) preparation and publication of a overall project synthesis docummentt that brings together all of the scientific highlights of the ACME publications in to a uniform conceptual model/framework, and that is presented in a fashion that will be useful to ecosystem managers. Each of these synthesis activities is discussed in more detail below. To help catalyze the manuscript production process we propose to have a project meeting early in FY99. Each primary investigator would come to the meeting with a series of proposed manuscripts, complete with authors, titles and an outline. Manuscript working groups would be formed at the meeting to produce extended outlines for each manuscript. Dave Krabbenhoft will assume lead responsibility for coordinating the synthesis phase of the ACME project, although the ultimate success of this effort will depend on the self-motivation and desire of all Principal Investigators to fully engage and commit themselves to this activity.

(Note: this is a new project for 1999.)





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Script last updated: 23 October 2018 @ 12:03 PM by THF. Record creator: BJM. Record last updated by: BJM.