, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 801–812 | Cite as

Controls on Ecosystem Carbon Dioxide Exchange in Short- and Long-Hydroperiod Florida Everglades Freshwater Marshes

  • Jessica L. Schedlbauer
  • Jay W. Munyon
  • Steven F. Oberbauer
  • Evelyn E. Gaiser
  • Gregory Starr


Although freshwater wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth, little is known of carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange in low latitude wetlands. The Everglades is an extensive, oligotrophic wetland in south Florida characterized by short- and long-hydroperiod marshes. Chamber-based CO2 exchange measurements were made to compare the marshes and examine the roles of primary producers, seasonality, and environmental drivers in determining exchange rates. Low rates of CO2 exchange were observed in both marshes with net ecosystem production reaching maxima of 3.77 and 4.28 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 in short- and long-hydroperiod marshes, respectively. Fluxes of CO2 were affected by seasonality only in the short-hydroperiod marsh, where flux rates were significantly lower in the wet season than in the dry season. Emergent macrophytes dominated fluxes at both sites, though this was not the case for the short-hydroperiod marsh in the wet season. Water depth, a factor partly under human control, significantly affected gross ecosystem production at the short-hydroperiod marsh. As Everglades ecosystem restoration proceeds, leading to deeper water and longer hydroperiods, productivity in short-hydroperiod marshes will likely be more negatively affected than in long-hydroperiod marshes. The Everglades stand in contrast to many freshwater wetlands because of ecosystem-wide low productivity rates.


Carbon dioxide exchange Everglades Productivity Water management Wetland 



This research was funded by the Department of Energy’s National Institute for Climate Change Research through grant number 07-SC-NICCR-1059. Thanks to Paulo Olivas and Jose Luciani for assistance in the field. Thanks also to Everglades National Park (Permits EVER-2007-SCI-0065, EVER-2008-SCI-0015 and EVER-2009-SCI-0013) and the Florida Coastal Everglades LTER project. The authors are grateful for the useful comments provided by three anonymous reviewers.


  1. Armentano TV, Sah JP, Ross MS, Jones DT, Cooley HC, Smith CS (2006) Rapid responses of vegetation to hydrological changes in Taylor Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida, USA. Hydrobiologia 569:293–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck C, Grieser M, Kottek M, Rubel F, Rudolf B (2006) Characterizing global climate change by means of Köppen Climate Classification. Klimastatusbericht 2005:139–149Google Scholar
  3. Bonneville M-C, Strachan IB, Humphreys ER, Roulet NT (2008) Net ecosystem CO2 exchange in a temperate cattail marsh in relation to biophysical properties. Agr Forest Meteorol 148:69–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bubier JL, Crill PM, Moore TR, Savage K, Varner RK (1998) Seasonal patterns and controls on net ecosystem CO2 exchange in a boreal peatland complex. Global Biogeochem Cy 12:703–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Childers DL, Iwaniec D, Rondeau D, Rubio G, Verdon E, Madden CJ (2006a) Responses of sawgrass and spikerush to variation in hydrologic drivers and salinity in Southern Everglades marshes. Hydrobiologia 596:273–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Childers DL, Boyer JN, Davis SE, Madden CJ, Rudnick DT, Sklar FH (2006b) Relating precipitation and water management to nutrient concentrations in the oligotrophic “upside-down” estuaries of the Florida Everglades. Limnol Oceanogr 51:602–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dahl TE (2011) Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States 2004 to 2009. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C., 108 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis SM, Gunderson LH, Park WA, Richardson JR, Mattson JE (1994) Landscape dimension, composition, and function in a changing Everglades ecosystem. In: Davis SM, Ogden JC (eds) Everglades: the Ecosystem and its Restoration. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, pp 419–444Google Scholar
  9. Davis SM, Gaiser EE, Loftus WF, Huffman AE (2005) Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model. Wetlands 25:821–831CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Daoust RJ, Childers DL (1999) Controls on emergent macrophyte composition, abundance, and productivity in freshwater Everglades wetland communities. Wetlands 19:262–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Duever MJ, Meeder JF, Meeder LC, McCollom JM (1994) The climate of south Florida and its role in shaping the Everglades ecosystem. In: Davis SM, Ogden JC (eds) Everglades: the Ecosystem and its Restoration. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, pp 225–248Google Scholar
  12. Dugan P (ed) (1993) Wetlands: a world conservation atlas. Oxford University Press, New York, 187ppGoogle Scholar
  13. Dusek J, Cizkova H, Czerny R, Taufarova K, Smidova M, Janous D (2009) Influence of summer flood on the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in a temperate sedge-grass marsh. Agr Forest Meteorol 149:1524–1530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ewe SML, Gaiser EE, Childers DL, Iwaniec D, Rivera-Monroy VH, Twilley RR (2006) Spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) along two freshwater-estuarine transects in the Florida Coastal Everglades. Hydrobiologia 569:459–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gopal B, Junk WJ, Davis JS (eds) (2000) Biodiversity in Wetlands: assessment, function, and conservation. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, 353Google Scholar
  16. Gottlieb AD, Richards JH, Gaiser EE (2006) Comparative study of periphyton community structure in long and short-hydroperiod Everglades marshes. Hydrobiologia 569:195–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hirota M, Tang Y, Hu Q, Hirata S, Kato T, Mo W, Cao G, Mariko S (2006) Carbon dioxide dynamics and controls in a deep-water wetland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Ecosystems 9:673–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Houghton RA, Skole DL (1990) Carbon. In: Turner BL, Clark WC, Kates RW, Richards JF, Mathews JT, Meyer WB (eds) The Earth as transformed by human action. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 393–408Google Scholar
  19. Iwaniec DM, Childers DL, Rondeau D, Madden CJ, Saunders C (2006) Effects of hydrologic and water quality drivers on periphyton dynamics in the southern Everglades. Hydrobiologia 569:223–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jauhiainen J, Takahashi H, Heikkienen JEP, Martikainen PJ, Vasander H (2005) Carbon fluxes from a tropical peat swamp forest floor. Glob Chang Biol 11:1788–1797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jones MB, Humphries SW (2002) Impacts of the C4 sedge Cyperus papyrus L. on carbon and water fluxes in an African wetland. Hydrobiologia 488:107–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Keddy PA (2000) Wetland Ecology Principles and Conservation. Cambridge University Press, New York, 614Google Scholar
  23. Keddy PA, Fraser LH, Solomesch AI, Junk WJ, Campbell DR, Arroyo MTK, Alho CJR (2009) Wet and wonderful: the world’s largest wetlands are conservation priorities. Bioscience 59:39–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kottek M, Grieser J, Beck C, Rudolf B, Rubel F (2006) World map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated. Meteorol Z 15:259–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Light SS, Dineen JW (1994) Water control in the Everglades: a historical perspective. In: Davis SM, Ogden JC (eds) Everglades: the ecosystem and its restoration. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, St, pp 47–84Google Scholar
  26. Lodge TE (2005) The everglades handbook: understanding the ecosystem. CRC Press, New York, 302Google Scholar
  27. Mitsch WJ, Gosselink JG (2007) Wetlands. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Hoboken, 582Google Scholar
  28. Morison JIL, Piedade MTF, Müller E, Long SP, Junk WJ, Jones MB (2000) Very high productivity of the C4 aquatic grass Echinochloa polystachya in the Amazon floodplain confirmed by net ecosystem CO2 flux measurements. Oecologia 125:400–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) (2009) Royal Palm Rs daily surface data., NCDC, Asheville, accessed 4/10/09
  30. Neue HU, Gaunt JL, Wang ZP, Becker-Heidmann P, Quijano C (1997) Carbon in tropical wetlands. Geoderma 79:163–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Noe GB, Childers DL, Jones RD (2001) Phosphorus biogeochemistry and the impact of phosphorus enrichment: why is the Everglades so unique? Ecosystems 4:603–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ogden JC (2005) Everglades ridge and slough conceptual ecological model. Wetlands 25:810–820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Riscassi AL, Schaffranek RW (2002) Flow velocity, water temperature, and conductivity in Shark River Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida: July 1999 – August 2001. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, 40 ppGoogle Scholar
  34. Rocha AV, Goulden ML (2008) Large interannual CO2 and energy exchange variability in a freshwater marsh under consistent environmental conditions. J Geophys Res 113:G04019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roulet NT, LaFleur PM, Richard PJH, Moore TR, Humphreys ER, Bubier J (2007) Contemporary carbon balance and late Holocene carbon accumulation in a northern peatland. Glob Chang Biol 13:397–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schabenberger O, Pierce FJ (2002) Contemporary statistical models for the plant and soil sciences. CRC Press, New York, 738Google Scholar
  37. Schedlbauer JL, Oberbauer SF, Starr G, Jimenez KL (2010) Seasonal differences in the CO2 exchange of a short-hydroperiod Florida Everglades marsh. Agr Forest Meteorol 150:994–1006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thomas S, Gaiser EE, Gantar M, Scinto LJ (2006a) Quantifying the responses of calcareous periphyton crusts to rehydration: a microcosm study (Florida Everglades). Aquatic Botany 84:317–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Thomas S, Gaiser EE, Tobias FA (2006b) Effects of shading on calcareous benthic periphyton in a short-hydroperiod oligotrophic wetland (Everglades, FL, USA). Hydrobiologia 569:209–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) (1999) Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive Review Study, Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. USACE, Jacksonville District, Jacksonville and SFWMD, West Palm Beach, 4033 ppGoogle Scholar
  41. Wright EL, Black CR, Cheesman AW, Drages T, Large D, Turner BL, Sjögersten S (2011) Contribution of subsurface peat to CO2 and CH4 fluxes in a neotropical peatland. Glob Chang Biol 17:2867–2881CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zedler JB, Kercher S (2005) Wetland resources: status, trends, ecosystem services, and restorability. Annu Rev Environ Resour 30:39–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica L. Schedlbauer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jay W. Munyon
    • 1
  • Steven F. Oberbauer
    • 1
    • 3
  • Evelyn E. Gaiser
    • 1
  • Gregory Starr
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWest Chester UniversityWest ChesterUSA
  3. 3.Fairchild Tropical Botanic GardenCoral GablesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

Personalised recommendations