An Ecological Basis for Establishment of a Phosphorus Threshold for the Everglades Ecosystem
Numerous studies have shown that the Everglades fen is a phosphorus-limited ecosystem (Steward and Ornes 1975a,b; Craft and Richardson 1993a; Koch and Reddy 1992; Richardson et al. 1999; Richardson and Qian 1999; Noe et al. 2001). From this it can be hypothesized that increases in phosphorus concentrations in the water column and the soils of the Everglades above the ecosystem’s P assimilative capacity (Chap. 23) will result in significant imbalances in the structure and function of the Everglades ecosystem (Richardson and Qian 1999). In the following chapter we provide information on our experimental results and general organism and ecosystem responses to P additions, as well as provide a statistical basis for determining a P threshold as it relates to ecological imbalance. However, before assessing the experimental P-dosing results, it is necessary to establish quantifiable metrics or indices of trophic level response to P concentrations as well as to determine a priori a scale of acceptable P effects.
KeywordsTotal Phosphorus Trophic Level Credible Interval Total Phosphorus Concentration Ecological Basis
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