Wetlands

, 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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Taylor Slough Water management Vegetation Hydrology Phosphorus Trajectory analysis 

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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