Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades

Evelyn E. Gaiser, Joel C. Trexler, Jennifer H. Richards, Daniel Childers, David Lee, Adrienne L. Edwards, Leonard J. Scinto, Krish Jayachandran, Gregory B. Noe, Ronald D. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Few studies have examined long-term ecological effects of sustained low-level nutrient enhancement on wetland biota. To determine sustained effects of phosphorus (P) addition on Everglades marshes we added P at low levels (5, 15, and 30 μg L-1 above ambient) for 5 yr to triplicate 100-m flow-through channels in pristine marsh. A cascade of ecological responses occurred in similar sequence among treatments. Although the rate of change increased with dosing level, treatments converged to similar enriched endpoints, characterized most notably by a doubling of plant biomass and elimination of native, calcareous periphyton mats. The full sequence of biological changes occurred without an increase in water total P concentration, which remained near ambient levels until Year 5. This study indicates that Everglades marshes have a near-zero assimilative capacity for P without a state change, that ecosystem responses to enrichment accumulate over time, and that downstream P transport mainly occurs through biota rather than the water column.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-723
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Volume34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

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Phosphorus
marsh
phosphorus
Water
biota
Wetlands
Ecosystems
Nutrients
Biomass
ecosystem response
periphyton
water column
wetland
nutrient
biomass
effect
Biota
water
rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Gaiser, E. E., Trexler, J. C., Richards, J. H., Childers, D., Lee, D., Edwards, A. L., ... Jones, R. D. (2005). Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades. Journal of Environmental Quality, 34(2), 717-723.

Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades. / Gaiser, Evelyn E.; Trexler, Joel C.; Richards, Jennifer H.; Childers, Daniel; Lee, David; Edwards, Adrienne L.; Scinto, Leonard J.; Jayachandran, Krish; Noe, Gregory B.; Jones, Ronald D.

In: Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 34, No. 2, 03.2005, p. 717-723.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gaiser, EE, Trexler, JC, Richards, JH, Childers, D, Lee, D, Edwards, AL, Scinto, LJ, Jayachandran, K, Noe, GB & Jones, RD 2005, 'Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades', Journal of Environmental Quality, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 717-723.
Gaiser, Evelyn E. ; Trexler, Joel C. ; Richards, Jennifer H. ; Childers, Daniel ; Lee, David ; Edwards, Adrienne L. ; Scinto, Leonard J. ; Jayachandran, Krish ; Noe, Gregory B. ; Jones, Ronald D. / Cascading ecological effects of low-level phosphorus enrichment in the Florida Everglades. In: Journal of Environmental Quality. 2005 ; Vol. 34, No. 2. pp. 717-723.
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