Abstract Detail


Castrillon, Katherine [1], Ross, Michael [1].

Effects of the Cutler Slough Rehydration on Tree Health Status within the Deering Estate at Cutler.

The Deering Estate Natural Area (DENA) historically contained a freshwater wetland environment that fed into the Biscayne Bay through the Cutler Creek. This freshwater environment desiccated over time as natural sheet flow became interrupted from fragmentation and urbanization in addition to drainage of the Everglades. As a general means to restore the authentic watershed of south Florida, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands (BBCW) was developed to divert freshwater from canals into select ecosystems that occupy the southeast coast. One of the projects under BBCW that facilitates this aim is the Cutler Slough Rehydration Project (CSRP) which has been utilizing DENA land as a funnel to remediate the Biscayne Bay with freshwater since December 2012. Since the implementation of the CSRP, the upland hardwood hammock and low elevation remnant historical wetland habitats within DENA have been continuously influenced by fluxes of freshwater input which is theorized to affect the health of resident tree species'. Previous research from a 2016 study that took place along three transects (A, B, C), which intersected the rehydration watershed, looked into the effect of the CSRP on tree species at different elevations. The study suggested that tree mortality was highest for hardwood hammock species within low elevation regions. Between 2020 and 2021, the three transects were resampled to examine the impact of the rehydration on trees overtime. This study will focus on examining changes to tree species composition and distributions within DENA as there are no objectives currently established for the future forest.

1 - Florida International University, Earth and Environment, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL, 33199, USA

species distributions
tropical hardwood hammock
historical freshwater wetland.

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PEC037
Abstract ID:106
Candidate for Awards:None

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