Loftus Aqua USGS SFWMD 2003

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Please note: this presentation has not received Director’s approval and is subject to revision.: 

Please note: this presentation has not received Director’s approval and is subject to revision.

Aquatic Ecology Research: 

Aquatic Ecology Research William F. Loftus, P.I. Robert Kobza Delissa Padilla Florida Integrated Science Center Miami

Cooperators: 

Cooperators USGS Donald DeAngelis Simulation Modeling Ken Rice Ecosystem Studies Kevin Cunningham Geomorphology John Jones Remote Sensing Leo Nico Introduced Species National Park Service Cristina Bruno Invertebrate Research Sue Perry Long-term Monitoring  Florida International University Joel Trexler Population Dynamics and Tim Collins Ecology, Genetics Florida Atlantic University John Volin Introduced Species South Florida Water Management District Christopher McVoy Soil Ecology

Slide4: 

To understand the ecology of South Florida wetlands through research that supports system restoration. Objective

Slide5: 

Reasons for Studying Biota Fishes are the most numerous vertebrates Play important roles in the food web, as predators, consumers, and prey Indicators of contamination Indicators of changes in salinity, nutrients, and hydropattern A large database exists for use in modeling

Slide6: 

Study Design

Background Work: 

Background Work Inventory studies: what species inhabit the landscape and its habitats? Species-specific studies: autecology and biology of native and exotic fishes and invertebrates Population and community-level studies: food-web patterns and dynamics related to hydrology

Slide8: 

Fish Distribution Patterns

Slide9: 

Food-web Studies

Slide10: 

NMDS Ordination

Slide11: 

Community Sampling – Throw Trap

Slide12: 

Throw-trapping network sampled 5X per year

Current Aquatic Ecology Studies : 

Current Aquatic Ecology Studies Spatial/Temporal Patterns Long-term I&M data analysis BICY aquatic-community study Aquatic refuges Introduced species Remote sensing of refuges Ecological Processes Life history of fishes Experimental studies of biotic interactions Population genetics

Slide14: 

Density and relative abundance patterns of fishes related to days since drydown

Slide15: 

Large fish CPUE in relation to hydroperiod and to soil TP

Slide16: 

Community Patterns

Slide17: 

BICY Community Study

The Role of Aquatic Refuges in the Wetland Complex of Southern Florida in Relation to System Restoration : 

The Role of Aquatic Refuges in the Wetland Complex of Southern Florida in Relation to System Restoration Community patterns in refuges and on marsh? Source of colonists after dry season: local refuges or distant sources? Patterns of fish dispersal related to water flow? Will hydrological restoration provide additional refuge and greater survival?

Slide19: 

Drift-fence Array

Slide20: 

Solution Hole Sampling HH\\out

Influence of Hydrology on Life-History Parameters of Common Freshwater Fishes: 

Influence of Hydrology on Life-History Parameters of Common Freshwater Fishes A study of age, growth, and reproductive patterns in response to hydrology Large species sampled from canals Small fishes collected in marshes.

Slide22: 

Cross section of fish otolith: daily growth increments

Slide23: 

Age at Size of Sailfin Molly (Konnert 2002)

Experimental Studies of Population Growth and Predator-Prey Interactions : 

Experimental Studies of Population Growth and Predator-Prey Interactions Mesocosm tanks and field cages used to study biotic interactions difficult to assess in smaller scale field or laboratory studies. Studies include: effects of intraguild predation and cannibalism; nutrient effects on food webs; exotic/native fish interactions.

Slide25: 

Experimental Mesocosm - ENP

Slide26: 

Number of Mosquitofish around Spotted Sunfish Nests in relation to Depth (Pagan M.S. 2000)

Slide28: 

Introduced Fishes

Temporal Invasion Pattern in Everglades Region: 

Temporal Invasion Pattern in Everglades Region 1950s - 1960s: Black acara 1960s - 1970s: Oscar, walking catfish, spotted tilapia, blue tilapia Mid-1980s: Mayan cichlid, pike killifish Late 90s - 00s: Jewel cichlid, jaguar cichlid, peacock bass, brown hoplo, Asian swamp eel

Slide30: 

Additional species in the canal system likely to invade the Everglades in the future Heros severus C. salvini C. citrinellum Pterygoplicthys Monopterus sp. O. mossambicus Ctenophyrgnodon

Slide31: 

NMDS Plot with Swamp Eel Diets

Future Directions: 

Future Directions Remote sensing to estimate solution-hole density and distribution on landscape Isotopes and otolith microchemistry to look for spatial signals of fish origins Study ecology and movements in and out of refuges Radio-track fish movements Continue to apply data in simulation modeling

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