Site: Florida Coastal Everglades LTER

Ecotone interface between mangrove and sawgrass in lower Shark River Slough
Credit: Stephan Davis

Contradicting classical estuary models, FCE LTER research demonstrated that marine nutrient supplies (rather than freshwater nutrient supplies) control coastal productivity gradients via daily tides, episodic storm surges, and hidden groundwater upwelling. Saltwater intrusion amplifies marine pulses by increasing connectivity to the sea and liberating phosphorus from limestone. Sea level projections based on long term data were refined, painting a better picture of how water quality will be affected by shifts in freshwater supply management.