Linking hydrologic modeling and ecologic modeling: Application of a Spatially-Explicit Species Index (SESI) model for adaptive ecosystem management in the Everglades Mangrove Zone of Florida Bay.
Cline, Jon*,1, Lorenz, Jerome2, Swain, Eric3, 1 Department of Biology, Cleveland, OH2 National Audubon Society, Tavernier, FL3 U.S. Geological Survey, Miami, FL
ABSTRACT- The Across Trophic Levels System Simulator (ATLSS) is a collection of ecological models designed to assess the impact of changes in hydrology on a suite of higher trophic level species of the southern Florida ecosystem. ATLSS requires hydrologic input to assess the effects of alternative proposed restoration scenarios on trophic structure. An ATLSS model (ALFISHES) for functional fish groups in Everglades mangrove zone of Florida Bay of southern Florida has been developed to evaluate the spatial and temporal patterns of fish density in the resident fish community. The ALFISHES model combines field data with hydrologic data from the Southern Inland and Coastal System (SICS) model to assess the impact of salinity on fish biomass. Another ATLSS model, a landscape-level spatially-explicit species index (SESI) model, has been constructed to assess the relative potential for breeding and/or foraging success of the Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), a key indicator species. The SESI model, one of a suite of ATLSS SESI models, utilizes model output from SICS/ALFISHES to assess the impact of changes in hydrology on fish biomass and its availability to spoonbills during the critical breeding period. With the development of restoration scenario capabilities in the SICS model, the SICS/ALFISHES/SESI coupling should prove an effective tool for evaluating the potential impact of water management policies on the spoonbill populations in the Everglades mangrove zone.
Key words: Everglades, Spatially explicit model, mangrove zone, Platalea ajaja
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