, Volume 34, Supplement 1, pp 101–111 | Cite as

Relating Freshwater Flow with Estuarine Water Quality in the Southern Everglades Mangrove Ecotone

  • Henry Briceño
  • Gabriel Miller
  • Stephen E. DavisIII
Hydrologic Restoration


Florida Bay is more saline than it was historically, and reduced freshwater flows may lead to more phosphorus inputs to the mangrove ecotone from the marine end-member. This is important given plans to restore freshwater flow into eastern Florida Bay. We investigated the relationships between salinity, nutrients, and hydrologic variables in the mangrove ecotone of Taylor Slough. We expected that total phosphorus (TP) would increase with salinity, reflecting a downstream marine source, while total nitrogen (TN) would increase with flow in the mangrove ecotone. Despite expectations of increased flows improving the ecological health of lower Taylor Slough and Florida Bay, total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) dynamics may shift in response to new conditions of flow and salinity as well as organic carbon, N, and P availability. Our results showed that TP concentrations are more discharge-driven while TN is more variable and potentially derived from different sources along the flow path from the freshwater Everglades marshes to Florida Bay. Increased flow of freshwater through Taylor Slough will likely decrease TP concentrations in this historically oligotrophic and P-limited ecosystem. However, more studies along the mangrove ecotone is needed to understand how increased flows will affect nitrogen dynamics relative to phosphorus.


Estuary Phosphorus Nitrogen Everglades National Park Florida Bay Restoration 



The authors thank the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (grant # 9934.12.029268) and the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program (National Science Foundation cooperative agreements #DEB-1237517 and DBI-0620409) for their support of this research. The Everglades Foundation provided internship support for G. Miller’s work on this study. This is contribution #608 from the Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University.


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Briceño
    • 1
  • Gabriel Miller
    • 2
  • Stephen E. DavisIII
    • 2
  1. 1.Southeast Environmental Research Center, OE 148Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Everglades FoundationPalmetto BayUSA

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