Ecological Status of the Everglades: Environmental and Human Factors that Control the Peatland Complex on the Landscape
The Everglades was an almost impenetrable wall of sawgrass “plains” and reptile-infested waters according to the early Spanish and American explorers (Ives 1856; Lodge 1994). Its name may have come from the term “Never Glades” as first used by Vignoles (1823). Originally called Pa-hay-okee (“grassy lake”) by the resident Native Americans, the Everglades was later popularized and put forward as a threatened environment that needed federal protection by Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s seminal 1947 book The Everglades: River of Grass. Her wonderful “river of grass” metaphor has unfortunately led to a simplistic view of the complexities of the Everglades ecosystem, how it functions on the landscape, and how its diversity of communities should be managed to sustain this subtropical wetland (McCally 1999). It is often referred to as the “Everglades marsh or swamp” by local residents, biologists, and engineers; however, it is correctly identified as a fen (Richardson 2000; Keddy 2000; Rydin and Jeglum 2006; Grunwald 2006). In more generic terms, the entire wetland would be referred to as a peatland by wetland ecologists in North America or as a mire by those in Europe.
KeywordsTree Island Everglades National Park Peat Core Good Management Practice Peat Depth
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