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OCR for page 131
SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE Appendix C Future CESI Science Objectives Examples of remaining south Florida research needs and science objectives, identified by current CESI staff and program managers, are listed below (William Perry, NPS, written communication, 2002). Hydrological and Ecological Modeling: Continue to work to define hydrological performance targets Add transport functions to hydrological models to assess contaminant transport Refine the Natural Systems Model Develop hydrodynamic models for Florida and Biscayne bays, with linkages to upstream inflow modeling to evaluate impact of CERP projects on bay salinities Improve elevation data in critical areas for improved hydrological modeling Refine ecological models Develop simulation models to evaluate changes in critical habitat factors (e.g., tree islands, marl prairie) Ecological Processes: Develop predictive relationships between hydrology and key indicator species (e.g., snail kite, apple snails) Define the relationships between salinity and indicator species in Florida and Biscayne bays (e.g., pink shrimp, mangroves, submerged aquatic vegetation) Develop aquatic insects and zooplankton as indices of hydrological or water-quality changes based on existing data Develop habitat suitability indices for critical species Landscape Patterns: Develop a landscape-scale simulation model to link hydrology to plant community structure Define the relationship between water quality and benthic communities in Florida and Biscayne Bays
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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE Refine the relationships between abiotic processes (e.g., hydroperiod, flow, fire) and biotic responses (e.g., tree island maintenance and composition) Evaluate the impacts of public land use on threatened and endangered species Water Quality: Evaluate treatment technologies for improvement of water quality in the Everglades Determine the effects of flow on phosphorous uptake to evaluate water-treatment techniques Define the relationship between biological indicators and water quality at Everglades reference sites Develop nutrient-loading models for Florida and Biscayne bays Develop best management practices for agricultural areas near restored Everglades habitats Assess potential ecotoxicological impacts of operation of critical CERP projects Science Information: Develop and maintain a database of historical and current biological and physical data with agency and public access Organize existing ecological data (habitat and population data) for South Florida into Geographic Information Systems for analysis of hydrological scenarios Create a system among key agencies to facilitate transfer of South Florida restoration science data for CERP implementation Develop and implement methodologies and decision support tools that will permit effective and timely assessment of CERP projects on DOI natural resources Social Science: Evaluate the economic and social effects of the Everglades restoration
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