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Recovery and Restoration of Altered Ecosystems Final (Readings)

Terms in this set (109)

o They were once a vast rain-fed wetland with extremely low nutrient levels, and steady flow from north to south, producing a distinctive sedge-dominated vegetation type adapted to wet infertile conditions
o Drainage began in the 1880s, bird species declines, natural wetlands shrunk
o A first general lesson from the Everglades is the importance of low nutrient levels to successful restoration. Phosphorus concentrations across most of the Everglades were likely as low as 4 to 10 pg/I and loading rates averaged less than 0.1 g P/m^2yr. This means that many of the species in the Everglades could be termed stress tolerators with particular life history traits associated with low nutrient levels, such as evergreen plants and carnivorous plants
o A second general lesson is the importance of scale. That is, we need simple models to help us think, but they should not blind us to the wild diversity of wild nature. If you look at conceptual diagrams for the Everglades, they usually involve less than ten vegetation types
§ It might be helpful to have more information on vegetation gradients, indicator species, the ecology of stress tolerators, and the structure of those wet prairies, which arc among some of the most speciose herbaceous vegetation types in the world

o Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan:
§ In an attempt to deal with this, enormous (18,0()() ha) treatment wetlands (STAs or stormwatcr treatment areas) have been constructed to reduce nutrient levels in runoff before this water enters the Everglades (Sklar ct al. 2005). The general idea is that plants in the treatment ponds will extract enough phosphorus to ensure that the runoff will cause less harm to the Everglades