Table of contents
About this book
Covering more than 4,300 square miles in Southern Florida, the Everglades are the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. It has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance, in recognition of its significance to all the people of the world. However, it is apparent that the Everglades have undergone radical changes in both water flow and water quality over the years.
The Everglades Experiments: Lessons for Ecosystem Restoration is a synthesis of the key findings and a summary of the experiments conducted during a fourteen-year period (1989-2003) by the Duke University Wetland Center and its partner institutions. Synthesized by Curtis J. Richardson, the findings are the result of extensive experimental research on the effects of water, nutrients, and fire on the Everglades communities. The research focused on such key questions as:
- What are the effects of increased nutrient and water inputs on the native plant and animal communities?
- What is the long-term nutrient storage capacity of the Everglades? and
- How can water management in the Everglades be improved to maintain the natural communities?
This work covers both the structural and functional responses of the Everglades ecosystem via experimental and gradient studies on microbial activity, algal responses, macroinvertebrate populations, macrophyte populations, and productivity in response to alterations to nutrients in soil and water, hydrologic changes, and fire. Importantly, this volume reclassifies the Everglades, provides a comparison of historic and current ecological processes, and presents a new working hydrologic paradigm, which collectively provides essential lessons for the restoration of this vast peatland complex.