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Comparative Hydrology, Water Quality, and Ecology of Selected Natural and Augmented Freshwater Wetlands in West-Central Florida

Comparing altered wetlands to natural wetlands in the same region improves the ability to interpret the gradual and cumulative effects of human development on freshwater wetlands. Hydrologic differences require explicit attention because they affect nearly all wetland functions and are an overriding influence on other comparisons involving wetland water quality and ecology. This study adopts several new approaches to quantify wetland hydrologic characteristics and then describes and compares the hydrology, water quality, and ecology of 10 isolated freshwater marsh and cypress wetlands in the mantled karst landscape of central Florida. Four of the wetlands are natural, and the other six have water levels indirectly lowered by ground-water withdrawals on municipally owned well fields. For several decades, the water levels in four of these altered wetlands have been raised by adding ground water in a mitigation process called augmentation. The two wetlands left unaugmented were impaired because their water levels were lowered. Multifaceted comparisons between the altered and natural wetlands are used to examine differences between marshes and cypress wetlands and to describe the effects of augmentation practices on the wetland ecosystems. In the karstic geologic setting, both natural and altered wetlands predominantly lost water to the surficial aquifer.

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Date Of Record Release 2009-03-11 17:31:52
Description Comparing altered wetlands to natural wetlands in the same region improves the ability to interpret the gradual and cumulative effects of human development on freshwater wetlands. Hydrologic differences require explicit attention because they affect nearly all wetland functions and are an overriding influence on other comparisons involving wetland water quality and ecology. This study adopts several new approaches to quantify wetland hydrologic characteristics and then describes and compares the hydrology, water quality, and ecology of 10 isolated freshwater marsh and cypress wetlands in the mantled karst landscape of central Florida. Four of the wetlands are natural, and the other six have water levels indirectly lowered by ground-water withdrawals on municipally owned well fields. For several decades, the water levels in four of these altered wetlands have been raised by adding ground water in a mitigation process called augmentation. The two wetlands left unaugmented were impaired because their water levels were lowered. Multifaceted comparisons between the altered and natural wetlands are used to examine differences between marshes and cypress wetlands and to describe the effects of augmentation practices on the wetland ecosystems. In the karstic geologic setting, both natural and altered wetlands predominantly lost water to the surficial aquifer.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source United States Geological Survey
Selector Bates
Date Of Record Creation 2009-03-11 17:28:04
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2009-03-11 17:31:52
Creator Lee, T.M.; Haag, K.H.; Metz, P.A.; Sacks, L.A.
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2009-03-11 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

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