Ecological Risks in the Caloosahatchee Estuary: A Conceptual Model Developed through the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ecological Risks in the Caloosahatchee Estuary: A Conceptual Model Developed through the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study

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Title: Ecological Risks in the Caloosahatchee Estuary: A Conceptual Model Developed through the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study


1
Ecological Risks in the Caloosahatchee Estuary
A Conceptual Model Developed through the
Southwest Florida Feasibility Study
  • Darren Rumbold, Ph. D
  • Professor of Marine Science
  • Depart. of Marine and Ecological Sciences
  • Coastal Watershed Institute
  • Florida Gulf Coast University

2
Southwest Florida Feasibility Study (SWFFS)
Purpose and Relationship to Comprehensive
Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and Critical
Projects
  • The Restudy recommended a separate Comprehensive
    watershed study for Southwest Florida with the
    following purposes
  • Health of aquatic ecosystems
  • Water flows
  • Water quality (including appropriate pollution
    reduction targets)
  • Water supply (Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan)
  • Flood damage reduction
  • Wildlife and biological diversity
  • Natural habitat
  • Recreation (opportunity)

3
(No Transcript)
4
Barnes, 2005
5
Benefits of Developing Conceptual Models?
  • The process of creating a conceptual model is a
    powerful learning tool.
  • Conceptual models are easily modified as
    knowledge increases.
  • Conceptual models highlight what is known and not
    known and can be used to plan future work.
  • Conceptual models can be a powerful communication
    tool. They provide an explicit expression of the
    assumptions and understanding of a system for
    others to evaluate.
  • Conceptual models provide a framework for
    prediction and are the template for generating
    more risk hypotheses.

6
Barnes, 2005
7
Stressors
Drivers
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Water Management
  • Land Use Management
  • Maintaining Navigation
  • Altered Estuarine Salinity
  • Altered Hydrology
  • Input Elevated Levels of Nutrients, Dissolved
    Organics Toxins
  • Boating Fishing Pressure
  • Physical Alteration to Estuary

8
Altered Salinity Regime
  • While estuarine species are generally well
    adapted to cope with varying salinity conditions,
    larger shifts and timing of freshwater discharges
    can be a problem.
  • impacts the community structure and function of
    phytoplankton, submerged aquatic vegetation
    (SAV), macroalgae, benthos- particularly oysters
    and fisheries
  • Secondary, or indirect, effects on manatee
    demographics and wading bird community structure

9
Important to Clearly Identify and Communicate
Cascading Adverse Effects
  • Primary, or direct, effects
  • occur when a stressor acts directly on the
    assessment endpoint and causes an adverse
    response
  • Secondary, or indirect, effects
  • occur when the entitys response becomes a
    stressor to another entity
  • are often a series of effects among a diversity
    of organisms and processes that cascade through
    the ecosystem
  • may have greater ecological significance than
    primary effect

10
Increased Nutrients Contaminants
  • Biostimulants, e.g., inorganic and organic
    nutrients, influence growth and community
    structure of phytoplankton, macroalgae, and
    microbes.
  • Indirect effects on SAV, zooplankton, fish and
    other aquatic organisms from 1) light
    attenuation, 2) altered dissolved oxygen
    concentrations, and 3) biotoxins
  • which, in turn, can have cascading effects on
    manatee, dolphins and wading bird community
    structure

11
Cloern 2001, Marine Ecology Progress Series
12
Table 1. Summary of findings of water quality
assessments in the Caloosahatchee Estuary, San
Carlos Bay, Pine Island Sound and Matlacha Pass.
13
Table 1. Continued.
14
Increased Nutrients Contaminants
  • Toxicants, both metals and organics (e.g.,
    pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care
    products) could be having insidious effects on
    individuals (e.g., immunosuppression, behavior,
    etc.) populations and community structure.
  • Loss or contamination of prey can have indirect
    effects on fish and wildlife predators (e.g.,
    sharks, dolphins, birds), as well as human
    consumers

15
Input parameters might include water-column
BOD, COD sediment oxygen demand adsorption
coeff., particle-size distribution, settling
coeff. rates of nitrification, denitrification,
mineralization and fixation reaeration rate
(SA/vol., temp., turbulence, stratification,
algal growth, photosynthesis, respiration,
settling rates light avail. (note,
inter-dependence).
WQ PERFORMANCE MEASURE
Parameter causal, response or both
Target
WQS Inflow v. outflow
Component specific
Constraint
TSS Turbidity DOC / DOM TN (NOx TKN) TP,
SRP
Basin e.g., C43, Tidal Caloosahatchee, Estero,
and BCB
Process model, e.g., ECOlab
concentration
Historical-based, e.g., natural systems, OFW, etc.
loads
Loading model
concentration
Empirical model, e.g., regression
loads
loads
Reference site, e.g., 10K Island, 25th - 75th
percentile for a given salinity regime
BMP effectiveness as reduction
Process model, e.g., ECOlab
Empirical model, e.g., regression
concentration
Dissolved Oxygen Chl-a Color Clarity / PAR
Fraction of Freshwater Method, i.e., mass balance
BPJ
Coordinate w/ Natural Systems Group
Input parameters will include Land
use Soils Topography Land use-specific event mean
conc. Land use-sp. runoff coefficient Many other
simplifying assump.
HSI model BPJ
Eco-resource, e.g., SAV, oysters, redfish
sawgrass
Habitat Units, e.g., acres, lbs, Catch per unit
effort
Output Scale ??? Instantaneous minimum
---Seasonal means Point - River segment -
Spatially explicit
NEED TO CONNECT THE DOTs
16
Cloern 2001, Marine Ecology Progress Series
Simultaneous Effects of Multiple Stressors
The presence of multiple stressors may either
increase or dampen the temporal and spatial
variability seen in aquatic systems, depending on
the interactions among stressors and the
influence of background environmental conditions
and sensitive species on the expression of
stressor effects. (Breitburg et al. 1999)
17
Breitburg et al. 1999
18
Barnes, 2005
19
Take Home Message
  • Many people invested an incredible amount of time
    and energy in the SWFFS developing
    decision-support products such as the conceptual
    model
  • Although those products should serve as a strong
    foundation, they can be improved upon and
    expanded, especially the predictive models
    linking stressors with eco-resources
  • We are not under the same constraints as SWFFS
    and so can develop an analysis plan for research
    to fill data gaps, particularly on simultaneous
    effects of multiple stressors and indirect
    effects
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