, Volume 34, Supplement 1, pp 65–79 | Cite as

Trajectories of Vegetation Response to Water Management in Taylor Slough, Everglades National Park, Florida

  • J. P. Sah
  • M. S. Ross
  • S. Saha
  • P. Minchin
  • J. Sadle
Hydrologic Restoration


Ecosystem management practices that modify the major drivers and stressors of an ecosystem often lead to changes in plant community composition. This paper examines how closely the trajectory of vegetation change in seasonally-flooded wetlands tracks management-induced alterations in hydrology and soil characteristics. We used trajectory analysis, a multivariate method designed to test hypotheses about rates and directions of community change, to examine vegetation shifts in response to changes in water management practices within the Taylor Slough basin of Everglades National Park. We summarized vegetation data by non-metric multidimensional scaling ordination, and examined the time trajectory of each site along environmental vectors representing hydrology and soil phosphorus gradients. In the Taylor Slough basin, vegetation change trajectories closely followed the hydrologic changes caused by the operation of water pumps and detention ponds adjacent to the canals. We also observed a shift in vegetation composition along a vector of increasing soil phosphorus, which suggests the need for implementing measures to avoid P-enrichment in southern Everglades marl prairies. This study indicates that shifts in vegetation composition in response to changes in hydrologic conditions and associated parameters may be detected through trajectory analysis, thereby providing feedback for adaptive management of wetland ecosystems.


Taylor Slough Water management Vegetation Hydrology Phosphorus Trajectory analysis 



We would like to acknowledge Dr. Tom Armentano for leading Taylor Slough vegetation study for many years. We would like to thank David Jones, Hillary Cooley, Kurt von Kleist, Dianne Riggs, Sarah Riley, Andrew Martin, Brandon Gamble, and Jesse Hoffman for data collection on Taylor Slough transects at various times during this study. We would like to thank Dr. James Snyder, Pablo Ruiz, Rafael Travieso, Franco Tobias, Susana Stoffella, Curt Schaeffer, Sara Robinson, David Hagyari for their help in data collection on transects in Cape Sable seaside Sparrow habitat study. This publication was produced as part of a special issue devoted to investigating the ecological response of over 20 years of hydrologic restoration and active management in the Taylor Slough drainage of Everglades National Park. Support for this special issue was provided by; Everglades National Park, the Southeast Environmental Research Center, the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program (National Science Foundation cooperative agreement #DBI-0620409), the Everglades Foundation and the South Florida Water Management District. This is contribution number 604 from the Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University.

Supplementary material

13157_2013_390_MOESM1_ESM.doc (435 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 435 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Sah
    • 1
  • M. S. Ross
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Saha
    • 3
  • P. Minchin
    • 4
  • J. Sadle
    • 5
  1. 1.Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth and EnvironmentFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Regional ConservationMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biological SciencesSouthern Illinois UniversityEdwardsvilleUSA
  5. 5.Everglades National ParkHomesteadUSA

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