Modeling Wetland Biogeochemistry and Restoration in South Florida

Jul 13, 2015, 1:00pm - 2:00pm

A Graduate Defense Seminar will be presented by Darryl Marois, PhD Candidate in Ecological Restoration, on Monday (7/13) at 1:00 p.m. in 333C Kottman Hall. Darryl will present Modeling Wetland Biogeochemistry and Restoration in South Florida.

Wetlands are an integral component of watersheds and their surrounding landscape. They provide numerous ecosystem services to humans and the environment including water treatment, flood mitigation, and habitat for wildlife. Despite this, urban development and agriculture have been impacting these valuable ecosystems for centuries, limiting the services they can provide. The Florida Everglades is a unique landscape of different wetland types that have all been aversely impacted by human activities. This dissertation aims to assess the ecosystem services provided by freshwater and coastal wetlands and to better understand how to restore and manage these systems in order to maximize these services. Computer modeling of nutrient dynamics and hydrology is used as an integral tool in achieving these objectives. The dynamics of phosphorus retention were investigated and modeled in wetlands constructed to treat surface water flowing from agricultural areas into the Everglades. The coastal protection provided by mangrove wetlands was assessed through a systematic review of published results of observational studies and modeling experiments. A rehabilitation plan of an impacted mangrove creek in Naples, Florida was then proposed utilizing hydraulic modeling to aid in its design and the prediction of its hydrologic outcomes. Ultimately, conclusions were drawn from our findings in regards to ecosystem services and the methods by which we can restore these functions.