Recent and historic drivers of landscape change in the Everglades ridge, slough, and Tree Island mosaic

Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
By: , and 

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Abstract

More than half of the original Everglades extent formed a patterned peat mosaic of elevated ridges, lower and more open sloughs, and tree islands aligned parallel to the dominant flow direction. This ecologically important landscape structure remained in a dynamic equilibrium for millennia prior to rapid degradation over the past century in response to human manipulation of the hydrologic system. Restoration of the patterned landscape structure is one of the primary objectives of the Everglades restoration effort. Recent research has revealed that three main drivers regulated feedbacks that initiated and maintained landscape structure: the spatial and temporal distribution of surface water depths, surface and subsurface flow, and phosphorus supply. Causes of recent degradation include but are not limited to perturbations to these historically important controls; shifts in mineral and sulfate supply may have also contributed to degradation. Restoring predrainage hydrologic conditions will likely preserve remaining landscape pattern structure, provided a sufficient supply of surface water with low nutrient and low total dissolved solids content exists to maintain a rainfall-driven water chemistry. However, because of hysteresis in landscape evolution trajectories, restoration of areas with a fully degraded landscape could require additional human intervention.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Recent and historic drivers of landscape change in the Everglades ridge, slough, and Tree Island mosaic
Series title Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
DOI 10.1080/10643389.2010.531219
Volume 41
Issue 1
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher CRC Press
Publisher location Boca Raton, FL
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Eastern Branch
Description 33 p.
First page 344
Last page 381
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N