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Temporal Changes in Salinity and Nutrient Regimes of a Tidal Creek within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine...

University of Florida Institutional Repository

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1 TEMPORAL CHANGES IN SALINITY AND NUTRIENT REGIMES OF A TIDAL CREEK WITHIN THE GUANA TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE, FL ASSOCIATED WITH THE 2004 HURRICANES By NICOLE DIX A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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2 Copyright 2006 by Nicole Dix

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3 To my new husband, Shane Pangle

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to acknowledge all of the past and present Phlips Lab employees who helped with the sampling, processing, and chemistry needed to obtain the data for this project. In particular, I would like to thank Jean Lockw ood, Ken Black, and Katie ODonnell. Of course, this project would not have been possible withou t the foresight and persistence of Rick Gleeson and NOAAs National Estuarine Research Reserv e to set up and manage the continuous monitoring network. Finally, I th ank my husband, Shane Pangle, for his love and support, and for keeping me laughing.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........6 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................7 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................8 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................9 2 METHODS.............................................................................................................................12 Site Description......................................................................................................................12 Data Collection.......................................................................................................................12 Water Chemistry................................................................................................................ .....13 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................14 3 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................17 Salinity and Meteorological C onditions during Storm Events............................................... 17 Hurricane Charley........................................................................................................... 17 Hurricane Frances............................................................................................................ 18 Hurricane Ivan.................................................................................................................18 Hurricane Jeanne.............................................................................................................19 Seasonal Salinity Patterns.......................................................................................................19 Seasonal Water Quality Patterns............................................................................................ 20 4 DISCUSSION.........................................................................................................................38 Sampling Scale and Ecosystem Variability............................................................................ 39 Potential Biological Community Impacts............................................................................... 40 Long-Term Consequences...................................................................................................... 41 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................45 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................51

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6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Total rainfall and average wind speed for the 2004 hurricanes......................................... 22 3-2 Mean daily salinity (ppt) two weeks before and four weeks after the 2004 hurricanes. ... 22 3-3 Summary statistics (based on daily averag es) describing the dist ribution of salinity (ppt), daily rainfall totals (mm ), wind speed (m/s), and water depth (m) for the 2003 2004 time series.................................................................................................................23 3-4 Spearmans correlation between mean monthl y ra infall totals and salinity, and SRP, TSP, TP, NO2+3, NH4, TSN, TN, chlorophyll a turbidity, color, and TSS....................... 24

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7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Location map of Pellicer Creek and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve m onitoring stations............................................................................... 16 3-1 A time series plot for 2 June, 2004 represen tative of tim es with little rain or wind. The solid line represents salinity. The dashed line represents wate r depth. Pearsons = 0.77 (p<0.0001) for salinity and depth. Read ings were obtained from the Pellicer Creek water quality monitoring station at 0.5 hour intervals.............................................25 3-2 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Charley, 13 August, 2004. A) W ind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity............... 26 3-3 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Frances, 4 Septem ber, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity............... 27 3-4 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Ivan, 19 Septem ber, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity............... 28 3-5 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Jeanne, 25 Septem ber, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity............... 29 3-6 Wind direction in relationship to orientation of Pellicer Creek. ........................................30 3-7 2004 hurricane tracks. A) Charley. B) Frances. C) Ivan. D) Jeanne (Wikipedia 2006).... 31 3-8 Mean daily salinity (ppt) at the Pellicer Creek w ater qual ity station two weeks before Hurricane Charley and four week s after Hurricane Jeanne............................................... 31 3-9 Summer salinity (June-September) collected at 0.5 hour intervals from the Pellicer Creek water quality station. A) 2003. B) 2004.................................................................. 32 3-10 Wind direction histograms. A) Summ er 2003 and summer 2004 combined. B) Summer 2003. C) Summer 2004. D) Winter 2003............................................. 33 3-11 2003 mean monthly rainfall (represente d by gray bars), collected from the Pellicer Creek weather station, plotted relative to maximum (top) and minimum (bottom) monthly nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton biomass, and water clarity parameters. A) Color. B) Salinit y. C) TN. D) TP. E) chlorophyll a. F) NH4. G) NO2+3. H) SRP. I) POC. J) turbidity.................................................................................. 34 4-1 Mean daily averages (2003). A) Sa linity. B ) Total Precipitation. C) Water Depth. D) Wind Speed....................................................................................................... 44

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8 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science TEMPORAL CHANGES IN SALINITY AND NUTRIENT REGIMES OF A TIDAL CREEK WITHIN THE GUANA TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE, FL ASSOCIATED WITH THE 2004 HURRICANES By Nicole Dix December 2006 Chair: Edward Phlips Major Department: Fisher ies and Aquatic Sciences Hurricanes and the associated shifts in wind speed and water levels can impact the integrity of near-shore aquatic ecosystems. Continuous data from Pellicer Creek within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Res earch Reserve, were combined with monthly measures of nutrient and water cl arity parameters to explore th e effects of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. In general, the four tropical systems of 2004 suppressed tidal salinity variations. Although strong northea sterly winds associated with the hurricane events initially prompted salinity spikes, high rainfall levels over the course of the event ultimately had the opposite effect, causing str ong declines in salinity for extend ed periods of time. Shortened residence times during the hurricanes decrea sed phytoplankton standing crop, and freshwater runoff was associated with incr eased nutrients. The number of intense storms striking the southeastern coast of the United States was abnormally high in 2004 and 2005, and since the pattern is expected to conti nue, associated impacts on Florida ecosystems may be accentuated and prolonged. The results of these time in tensive observations of water quality and meteorological conditions in the Pellicer Creek ecosystem provide insight into the impacts of multiple storm events on environmental variability.

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9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Hurricanes, and their effect on coastal ecosy stems, have become a popular subject of research in recent years due to the increasing availabili ty of long-term datasets (Walker, Lodge, Brokaw, and Waide 1991; Valiela et al. 1996; Wenner and Geist 2001; Kennish 2004) and concern about potential ramifications of increases in the frequency of intense storms (Finkl and Pilkey 1991; Landsea, Pielke, Mestas-Nuez, an d Knaff 1999; Elsner 2003; Bossak 2004; Paerl et al. in press; Switzer, Winne r, Dunham, Whittington, and Thomas in press). Rapid and large shifts in wind speed and water levels can affect the integrity of near-s hore aquatic ecosystems (Hoese 1960; Geyer 1997; Michen er, Blood, Bildstein, Brinson, and Gardner 1997; Valiela et al. 1996, 1998). Many studies have focused on the in fluence of hurricanes on estuarine water quality and biological community structure, and common findings include spatial and temporal changes in water level, light attenuation, sediment distribu tion, salinity regime, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, nutrient concentra tions, and macrobenthic community composition (Boesch, Diaz, and Virnstein 1976; Simpson and Riehl 1981; Blood, Anderson, Smith, Nybro, and Ginsberg 1991; Van Dolah and Anderson 1991; Tilmant et al. 1994; Mallin et al. 1999; Proffitt 1999; Ward 2004; Hagy et al. 2006; Morr ison, Sherwood, Boler, and Barron in press; Stevens, Blewett, and Casey in press). The goal of this project was to explore the effects of hurricanes on key physiochemical factors associ ated with the ecology of a tidal creek on the northeast coast of Florida. The 2004 hurricane season was one of the most active seasons on record for the North Atlantic Basin. Florida experien ced four intense hurricanes (Charl ey, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne) within a span of less than two months (August-September, 2004). The environmental monitoring network of the Na tional Estuarine Research Re serve (NERR) System-Wide

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10 Monitoring Program (SWMP) provi ded an opportunity to inves tigate temporal changes in physiochemical and meteorological properties asso ciated with the passage of these tropical systems over Florida (NOAA 2004). Data from th e Pellicer Creek weather and water quality stations, managed by the Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) NERR, were combined in this study with monthly measures of nutrien t and water clarity. The impact s of storm events were then related to typical daily and seasonal variability to assess the relative magn itude and character of deviations associated with storm events. Although the GTMNERR network collects data on a variety of physic al properties in Pellicer Creek, including salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH, the focus of this part of the study was salinity because it is a key factor in the distribution of estuarine organisms (Tabb and Jones 1962; McMillan and Moseley 1967; McMillan 1974; Hackney, Burbanck, and Hackney 1976; Boesch et al. 1976; Mallin 1999 2002; Walker 2001; Wenner, Sanger, Arendt, Holland, and Chen 2004) and can be used to char acterize hydrodynamics in estuaries (Imberger et al. 1983, Orlando et al. 1994). Spatial and temporal patterns in salinity are also valuable descriptors when developing management plan s for estuaries (Orlando et al. 1994, Gibson and Najjar 2000). For example, Montague and Ley (1 993) assessed the potential impacts of sudden changes in salinity on an estuary in northeast Florid a Bay as part of a management plan to divert freshwater flows in the Florida Everglades. Th ey combined environmental measurements with benthic vegetation/macrofauna sampling and found a negative correlation between the standard deviation of salinity and biotic density/plant biomass. Therefore, environmental stress may not only be caused by changes in the relative magnitudes of water quality parameters, but also by their variability. Storm events can greatly accelerate rates and magn itudes of change.

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11 In addition to the GTMNERR monitoring data nutrient concentrations, water clarity indicators and phytoplankton st anding crop (i.e., chlorophyll a concentrations) were used to explore the impacts of storm events further. Th ese parameters are linked to trophic status and also influence biological community structur e and function (Valiela et al. 1997, Grall and Chauvaud 2002). Intertidal wetlands, such as those surrounding Pellicer Creek, are productive ecosystems (Montague and Wiegert 1990) that can contribute nutrients to nearby coastal waters (Heinle and Flemer 1976; Woodwell, Whitne y, Hall, and Houghton 1977; Valiela, Teal, Volkmann, Shafer, and Carpenter 1978; Nixon 1980). Potential nutrient sources for Pellicer Creek include direct rainwater input, surface-water run-off, and groundwater seepage. All are potentially affected by passing storms. Extreme rainfall can cause higher than average nutrient concentrations in aquatic coas tal ecosystems (Hama and Handa 1994, Valiela et al. 1996, 1998). Two main research objectives were pursued in this study within th e context of several related hypotheses: 1. Describe relationships between salinity and several key morpho metric and meteorological factors including water depth, wind sp eed and direction, and precipitation. Hypothesis 1: Hurricanes will affect the typical diel cycle of salinity (two peaks and troughs per day corresponding to high and low tide respectively) by resulting in accentuated levels during strong onshore winds and suppressed levels during offshore winds. Hypothesis 2: Mean salinity will be higher and less variable during summer 2003 than summer 2004 due to absence of hurricanes in the former year. 2. Determine temporal changes in nutrient le vels, water clarity, and phytoplankton biomass and how they relate to wind speed and di rection, and precipitation seasonally. Hypothesis 3: Hurricanes will result in increased watershed runoff, which in turn will lead to an immediate increas e in nutrient concentrations particulate material, and dissolved organic matter (color) and an initial declin e in chlorophyll a. Chlorophyll a concentrations will rise in the months fo llowing major storms, resulting in decreased bioavailable nutrients.

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12 CHAPTER 2 METHODS Site Description Pellicer Creek is a major tributary of the Matanzas River and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) estuary (Figure 2-1). It is the boundary between St. Jo hns and Flagler counties in northeast Florida, an area of humid subtr opical climate (Chen and Gerber 1990). The wet season coincides occurs in summer (June to Se ptember), and the area has approximately 132 cm of rainfall annually. Pellicer Creek experiences semi-diurnal tides with an average range of 0.6 m (NOAA 2004). The majority of the creek is surrounded by public conservation lands. The sediment type is muddy sand (NOAA 2004), and the water is rich in dissolved organic matter relative to the entire estuary. Salinity at the water quality station (Fi gure 2-1) ranges from freshwater to almost seawater. Data Collection Weather and water quality data collection methods are standardized among the 26 established National Estuarine Re search Reserve (NERR) sites (Kennish 2004), although station locations vary depending on specific rese rve interests. The GTMNERR manages a meteorological station at the mouth of Pellicer Cr eek and four water quality monitoring stations throughout the estuary. The Pellicer Creek water quality monitoring station, located approximately 4 kilometers upstream from the weather station (Figure 2-1), was used in this analysis to minimize spatial variability. Data were recorded at 15and 30 -minute intervals at the weather and water quality stations, respectively. After quality assu rance, data were published on the Centralized Data Management Office websit e (http://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu). The continuous time series of weather and wate r quality data was downloaded fr om the website, and the 15and 45-minute observations were deleted from the weat her dataset to match timestamps of the water

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13 quality series. Due to data logger malfunctions, the weather station did not record data for 32 days during portions of Septem ber, October, and November 2003. Malfunctions at the water quality station resulted in missing salinity and depth data for 1 May to 12 May, 2004 and 27 June to 7 July, 2004. These missing data may cause s lightly biased averages, but should not affect general interpretations. In addition to continuous in situ monitoring data, water was collected at the same location as the GTMNERR water quality station on a monthl y basis. One integrated sample from the entire column of water and two samples from 1 m above the bottom were collected with a PVC pole (Venrick 1978). In addition, an ISCO auto matic sampler was deployed to collect water samples from 1 m above the bottom every 2.5 hours for one complete tidal cycle. Samples from both collection methods were brought back to the lab on ice and processed in similar manner for the determination of nutrient concentrations, incl uding total nitrogen (TN) total soluble nitrogen (TSN), total phosphorus (TP), total soluble phosphorus (TSP), nitrate (NO3), nitrite (NO2), ammonium (NH4), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), as well as water clarity parameters such as chlorophyll a, total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved organic matter (color), and turbidity. Water Chemistry Whole water samples were used to determin e concentrations of TN TP, TSS, chlorophyll a, particulate organic carbon (POC ), and turbidity. To determine TN and TP, samples were digested and measured colorometrically on a Br an-Luebbe autoanalyzer (TN) and a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer (TP) (APHA 1998). An alysis methods for TSN and TSP were the same as those for TN and TP, respectively, but samples were filtered first through PALL A/E glass-fiber filters (1m pore si ze) (APHA 1998). To measure TSS, aliquots of whole water were filtered through pre-weighed glass-fiber filters ( 1.5 m pore size). Filters were subsequently

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14 dried at 104oC, placed in a desiccator, and re-weighed (APHA 1998). Chlorophyll a was processed using the Sartory and Grobbelaar (1984) ethanol extraction method. Absorbances were determined using a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer relativ e to a blank cuvette, according to Standard Methods (APHA 1998). To determine POC concentrations, aliquots of whole water were filtered through pre-burned (to eliminate any residual organic carbon) glassfiber filters (0.7 m pore size). Filters were dried at 80oC, and organic car bon concentration was determined using a coulometer (APHA 1998). Turbidity was measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) using a LaMotte Model 2020 Turbidimeter. Aliquots to be used for color and availabl e nutrient analyses were filtered through glassfiber filters (1m pore size), stored in a freezer (NH4, NO3, and NO2) or refrigerator (SRP and color), and read within 48 hours of collection. Ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite concentrations were determined colorometrica lly on a Bran-Luebbe autoanalyzer (Strickland and Parsons 1972, APHA 1998). SRP concentrations were measur ed on a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer at 882nm following standard methods (APHA 1998) Color values were measured against a platinum-cobalt standard using a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer (APHA 1998). Data Analysis Continuous and monthly water quality data we re combined with information from the meteorological station in an attempt to determ ine relationships between salinity, water depth, nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations, and storm conditi ons (i.e., rainfall, wind speed, and wind direction). Daily and seasonal averages we re calculated to desc ribe general physical characteristics of Pellicer Creek and examine possi ble storm effects. Summ er was defined as the period between June and September. Winter was defined as Janua ry and February 2003, November 2003 to February 2004, and November and December 2004.

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15 Sanger et al. (2002) and Wenne r et al. (2004) measured st orm effects by looking at the time it took for a parameter to retu rn to pre-storm conditions. Th ey defined pre-storm as two weeks before the storm and post-storm as f our weeks after. Similarly, daily means and coefficients of variance (CV) were calculated both for salinity values before and after storms and for summer seasons of both years. Comparis ons were limited for storms temporally close together due to overlaps in preand post-storm timeframes. Descriptive statistics of the entire time series were used to explore seasonal vari ability. The Wilcoxon sign-rank test was used to test for differences between mean daily salinity during summer 2003 and summer 2004. Spearmans Rank Correlation was used to examine the association between salinity and depth for a typical day with little rainfall or wind. Th e Spearmans Rank Correlation was also used to examine relationships between rainfall, salinity, and all other parameters. Non-parametric tests were used after determining that most parameters were not normally distributed according to the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for goodness-of-fit. SAS statistical software (1999) was used to calculate all test statistics ( = 0.05).

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16 Figure 2-1. Location map of Pellicer Creek and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve monitoring stations. Water Quality Station Weather Station ICW Atlantic Ocean N

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17 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS Salinity and Meteorological Conditions during Storm Events The nearly continuous salinity and weather tim e series for Pellicer Creek made it possible to examine typical daily variations and immediat e storm effects. In times of little wind and rainfall activity, salinity variance followed oscill ations typical of semidiurnal tides within the region (Figure 3-1). Two slightly unequal peak s and two troughs per day corresponded to high and low tides, respectively ( = 0.77). A comparison of total rainfall and average wind speed for each of the 2004 hurricanes is provided in Table 3-1. Each hurri cane resulted in short-term ch anges in rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, and salinity (Figure 3-2). Figur e 3-3 puts wind directi on in perspective with respect to the orientation of the creek. The following summary illustrates the relationships among salinity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation at the diel timescale: Hurricane Charley In the middle of August 2004, Hurricane Charley st ruck the southwest coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scal e. It traveled northeasterly across the state and exited around Daytona Beach (Figur e 3-4, Pasch, Brown, and Blake 2004). During Charley, the Pellicer Creek weat her station recorded a maximu m wind speed of 17.9 meters per second (m/s) and 9.1 cm of rainfall on 13 August (Figure 3-2a). The station was experiencing southeasterly winds before passa ge of Charley; however, winds shifted to north-northeasterly and increased in strength during the storm. The up -creek winds, and resul ting increase of almost 20 cm above mean pre-storm water level, coincided with the observ ed increase in salinity. The second smaller peak on 14 August coincided with a 19 cm drop in water depth. Two weeks before passage of Charley, mean daily salin ity was 12.2 ppt (Table 3-2, Figure 3-5).

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18 Immediately after the storm, salin ities dropped to approximately 1 ppt, and water stayed fresh for 11 days. Salinities began to rise, showing t ypical tidal oscillations, on 25August, but they remained below the pre-storm average for 20 days until salinity spiked on 5 September. Hurricane Frances Hurricane Frances made landfall on Floridas southeast coast as a Category 2 on September 5, 2004. The storm center traveled into the Gulf of Mexico an d north through the Big Bend region of the panhandle (Figure 3-4). Most of central and north Florida experienced more than 25 cm of rain during Frances (Beven 2004). As evident in Figure 3-2b, rain and winds lasted longer during Frances than during Charley. Maximum wind speed at the Pellicer Creek weather station for the entire 2003 time series (18.5 m/s) and highest daily total precipitation (17.3 cm) were recorded during pass age of Frances. Average salinity two weeks before the storm was 1.8 ppt with a coefficient of variance (CV) of 96. On 5 September, salinity peaked at 29.8 ppt, then steadily dropped to zero. Water rema ined fresh and exhibited much smaller variability (CV = 9) until 20 September when salinities became elevated during passage of Ivan. Hurricane Ivan While Frances was crossing Florid a, another tropical storm, Ivan, was strengthening into a hurricane about 1,600 kilometers ea st of Tobago. Hurricane Ivan tr aveled north th rough the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall on the southern coas t of Alabama on 16 September, 2004 (Figure 34). The storm weakened over land, but continued tracking northeast over the southeastern U.S. Ivan took a southern turn when it re-entered the Atlantic Ocean on 19 September and completed its loop by crossing the southern tip of Florida and turning back north toward Louisiana (Stewart 2004). Ivans effect on the salinity and climate of Pellicer Creek can be seen in the time series from 19-21 September, 2004 (Figure 3-2c). Waters were fresh before the storm due to the

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19 influence of Frances. However, salinity spiked to 19.5 ppt on 20 Septembe r as winds blew from the northeast. Total rainfall on September 20 was 3.4 cm. Salinitie s fell after th e initial spike and remained low until 25 September. Hurricane Jeanne Hurricane Jeanne made landfall early 26 Sept ember, 2004 on Floridas east coast near Stuart as a Category 3 storm (Fi gure 3-4). It traveled west-nor thwest, weakening to a tropical storm north of Tampa (Lawrence and Cobb 2004). Salinity increased to 8.9 ppt on 26 September (Figure 3-2d), but levels droppe d on 27 September and remained below 1ppt for 10 days. After Jeanne, salinity remained below the pre-Charle y average (12.2 ppt) fo r over three weeks (28 September-21 October, Table 3-2). Maximum water depth for the entire 2003 time series, 2.4 m, was reached during the passa ge of Jeanne on 26 September. Seasonal Salinity Patterns Salinity variance patterns are evident in s easonal comparisons (Table 3-3). Mean daily salinity during summer 2003 was significantly higher than that during summer 2004 (p < 0.0005). The CV was much lower in summer 2003 than in summer 2004. The histograms in Figure 3-6 represent summer salinity distributio ns for 2003 and 2004 and demonstrate that the Pellicer Creek water quality station experienced fr eshwater conditions about twice as often in summer 2004 than in summer 2003. The CV for both salinity and wind speed we re much lower in winter than in summer (Table 3-3). This may allude to the influence of wind on salinity. Prev ailing winds were from the northwest in winter and from the south in summer (Figure 3-7). Mean salinity for the twoyear time series was lower in summer than winter (Table 3-3).

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20 Seasonal Water Quality Patterns Minimum and maximum monthly values for wate r quality parameters were plotted over time relative to mean monthly rainfall (Figure 3-8). Because the rainfall time series from September-November 2003 contained data gaps monthly averages may have been low estimates. In general, color values increased with rainfall. One notable exception was in June 2004. A large rain event on 26 June created a fairly hi gh monthly average; however, since the pole and ISCO samples were collected in the beginning of the month, they do not reflect the rain event. Seasonally, there were bimodal peaks, one in la te summer and another in the spring (Figure 38a), coinciding with the rainfall pattern described for this region by Jordan (1984) and Chen and Gerber (1990). Salinity was ge nerally inversely related to ra infall patterns (Figure 3-8b). Little diel variation existed in TN and TP concentrations, with a few exceptions (Figure 3-8c,d). On 26 March, 2003, salinity ranged from 3-14 ppt. Highest salinities corresponded with lowest TN values and vice versa, suggesting that nitrogen followed freshwater flow of the creek. A similar pattern occurred on 26 August, 2003. In general, TN and TP concentrations followed rainfall patterns. TP did not, however, increase during the 2004 hurricane season. Increased flushing in spring and summer 2004 (i llustrated by high color concentrations) resulted in low chlorophyll a concentrations and suppressed di el variability (Figure 3-8e). Therefore, as hypothesized, shortened reside nce times during the hurricanes decreased phytoplankton standing crop. As expected, maximum chlorophyll a levels began to rise in October 2004 when average rainfall declined. However, the rise in phytoplankton levels did not result in a decrease in bioava ilable nutrients. In fact, NH4 and NO2+3 were elevated in November 2004 (Figure 3-8f,g). The large ammonium peak is likely due to low oxygen conditions causing inorganic nitrogen to exist largely in reduced form. SRP ranges were fairly low after the

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21 hurricanes of 2004 (Figure 3-8h), su ggesting that SRP was either di luted by fresh water runoff or consumed by bacteria or phytoplankton. POC wa s more variable in 2004 than in 2003 (Figure 38i). Correlation analysis revealed no statistical relationship between rainfall and soluble versus particulate material (Table 3-4). However, mean monthly ra infall totals were significantly and positively correlated with NH4, TSN, TN, TSP, and turbidity. In addition, average monthly salinity values were negatively correlated with NO2+3, TSN, TN, and color and positively correlated with chlorophyll a.

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22 Table 3-1. Total rainfall and aver age wind speed for the 2004 hurricanes. Hurricane Dates of Impact on Pellicer Creek Total Rainfall (mm) Average Wind Speed (m/s) Charley August 11 129.6 1.92 Frances September 3 204.5 11.63 Ivan September 20 34.2 8.68 Jeanne September 25 61.2 13.63 Table 3-2. Mean daily salinity (ppt) two weeks before and four w eeks after the 2004 hurricanes. Hurricane Timeframe Dates N MeanCV Range Charley pre-storm 7/30/04/12/04 14 12.2 37 13.1 8/13/04/15/04 post-storm* 8/16/04/12/04 28 1.9 208 20 8/14/04/24/04 11 0.1 32 0.1 post-storm before Frances 8/16/04/3/04 19 1.4 122 5.5 Frances pre-storm 8/21/04/3/04 14 1.8 96 5.5 9/4/04/6/04 post-storm* 9/7/04/4/04 28 0.8 238 8.8 post-storm before Ivan 9/7/04/18/04 12 0.1 9 0.02 Ivan pre-storm* 9/5/04/18/04 14 1.6 338 20 9/19/04/21/04 post-storm* 9/22/04/19/04 28 2.6 107 8.9 post-storm before Jeanne 9/22/04/24/04 3 0.4 58 0.4 Jeanne pre-storm* 9/11/04/24/04 14 4.4 208 34 9/25/04/27/04 post-stor m 9/28/04/25/04 28 0.6 239 5.3 *timeframe overlaps with one or more storms

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23 Table 3-3. Summary statistics (based on daily av erages) describing the di stribution of salinity (ppt), daily rainfall totals (mm), wind speed (m/s), and water depth (m) for the 2003 2004 time series. Summer includes June to September, while winter describes November through February. Statistics ar e also compared between the summers of 2003 and 2004. Parameter Season Mean Median Std. Dev. CV Range Min. Max. salinity summer 03+04 10.9 13.0 8.2 76 25.6 0.1 25.7 winter 03+04 13.3 14.4 6.2 46 23.7 0.1 23.8 summer 03 12.3 14.8 7.3 59 21.8 0.1 21.8 summer 04 9.3 6.3 8.9 96 25.6 0.1 25.7 rainfall summer 03+04 5.7 0.0 15.7 276 173.2 0.0 173.2 winter 03+04 2.0 0.0 6.8 332 61.0 0.0 61.0 summer 03 4.0 0.0 7.9 196 39.9 0.0 39.9 summer 04 7.1 0.3 19.9 281 173.2 0.0 173.2 wind speed summer 03+04 2.3 1.8 1.7 74 13.4 1.0 14.4 winter 03+04 2.4 2.1 1.3 54 9.1 0.8 9.9 summer 03 1.9 1.8 0.6 31 3.6 1.0 4.6 summer 04 2.7 1.8 2.2 83 13.2 1.2 14.4 depth summer 03+04 1.3 1.3 0.2 13 1.1 1.0 2.1 winter 03+04 1.3 1.3 0.2 12 1.0 1.0 2.0 summer 03 1.3 1.3 0.2 12 0.8 1.0 1.8 summer 04 1.4 1.3 0.2 14 0.9 1.2 2.1

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24 Table 3-4. Spearmans (N = 24) between mean monthly ra infall totals and salinity, and SRP, TSP, TP, NO2+3, NH4, TSN, TN, chlorophyll a turbidity, color, and TSS (*significant values at the 95% confidence level). Rainfall Salinity (rho) p-value p-value Salinity -0.36 0.0848 SRP 0.15 0.4812 0.37 0.0760 TSP 0.50 0.0136* -0.038 0.8591 TP 0.32 0.1318 0.23 0.2695 NO2+3 0.11 0.5933 -0.43 0.0383* NH4 0.42 0.0412* 0.019 0.9293 TSN 0.60 0.0019* -0.53 0.0078* TN 0.72 <0.0001* -0.47 0.0196* Chl a -0.056 0.7962 0.59 0.0023* Turb 0.51 0.0102* -0.13 0.5490 Color 0.39 0.0568* -0.88 <0.0001* TSS -0.003 0.9887 0.37 0.0773

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25 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0 1471013161922252831343740434649525558616467707376798285889194 Time (hours)Salinity (ppt)0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8Depth (m) Figure 3-1. A time series plot for 2 June, 2004 repr esentative of tim es with little rain or wind. The solid line represents salinity. The dashed line represents wate r depth. Pearsons = 0.77 (p<0.0001) for salinity and depth. Read ings were obtained from the Pellicer Creek water quality monitoring st ation at 0.5 hour intervals.

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26 A 0 4 8 12 16 20Date 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 Wind Speed (m/s) 0 60 120 180 240 300 360Date 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 Wind Direction (degrees) B C 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18Date 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 Total Precipitation (mm/30min) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3Date 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 Depth (m) D E 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35Date 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/13/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/14/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 8/15/2004 Salinity (ppt) Figure 3-2. Short-term meteorological effect s of Hurricane Charley, 13 August, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Tota l Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.

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27 A 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20Date 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 Wind Speed (m/s) 0 60 120 180 240 300 360Date 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 Wind Direction (degrees) B C 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18Date 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 Total Precipitation (mm/30min) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3Date 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 Depth (m) D E 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35Date 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/4/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/5/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 9/6/2004 Salinity (ppt) Figure 3-3. Short-term meteor ological effects of Hurricane Frances, 4 September, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Tota l Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.

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28 A 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20Date 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 Wind Speed (m/s) 0 60 120 180 240 300 360Date 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 Wind Direction (degrees) B C 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18Date 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 Total Precipitation (mm/30min) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3Date 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 Depth (m) D E 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35Date 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/19/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/20/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 9/21/2004 Salinity (ppt) Figure 3-4. Short-term meteorological effect s of Hurricane Ivan, 19 September, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Tota l Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.

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29 A 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20Date 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 Wind Speed (m/s) 0 60 120 180 240 300 360Date 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 Wind Direction (degrees) B C 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18Date 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 Total Precipitation (mm/30min) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3Date 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 Depth (m) D E 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35Date 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/25/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/26/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 9/27/2004 Salinity (ppt) Figure 3-5. Short-term meteorol ogical effects of Hurricane Jea nne, 25 September, 2004. A) Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Tota l Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.

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30 Figure 3-6. Wind direction in relationship to orientation of Pellicer Creek. 360 / 0 90 180 270 N

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31 A B C D Figure 3-7. 2004 hurricane tracks. A) Charley. B) Frances. C) Ivan. D) Jeanne (Wikipedia 2006). 0 5 10 15 20 25Date 8/7/2004 8/11/2004 8/15/2004 8/19/2004 8/23/2004 8/27/2004 8/31/2004 9/4/2004 9/8/2004 9/12/2004 9/16/2004 9/20/2004 9/24/2004 9/28/2004 10/2/2004 10/6/2004 10/10/2004 10/14/2004 10/18/2004 10/22/2004 Salinity (ppt) Figure 3-8. Mean daily salinity ( ppt) at the Pellicer Creek water quality station two weeks before Hurricane Charley and four w eeks after Hurricane Jeanne. Charle y Frances IvanJeanne

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32 A 02.44.87.29.61214.416.819.221.62426.428.8 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 P e r c e n t B 02.44.87.29.61214.416.819.221.62426.428.831.2 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 P e r c e n t Figure 3-9. Summer salinity (June-September) colle cted at 0.5 hour intervals from the Pellicer Creek water quality station. A) 2003. B) 2004.

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33 A 40 40 40 40 30 30 30 30 20 20 20 20 10 10 10 10N E S W 20 20 20 20 15 15 15 15 10 10 10 10 5 5 5 5N E S W B C 20 20 20 20 15 15 15 15 10 10 10 10 5 5 5 5N E S W 40 40 40 40 30 30 30 30 20 20 20 20 10 10 10 10N E S W D Figure 3-10. Wind direction histogr ams. A) Summer 2003 and summer 2004 combined. B) Summer 2003. C) Summer 2004. D) Winter 2003.

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34 A 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800Jan-03 Mar-0 3 May-03 Jul-03 Se p 03 N o v-03 Jan-04 Mar-04 M a y 0 4 Ju l -04 Sep-04 N o v 04Color (PCU)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) B 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35Jan-03 Mar-03 May-03 Ju l-0 3 S ep -0 3 Nov-0 3 Ja n04 M ar -0 4 M ay -04 J u l-0 4 Sep-04 N ov 0 4Salinity (ppt)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) C 0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 1.20 1.40 1.60Jan 03 Ma r -03 May0 3 J u l-03 Sep-03 Nov-03 J a n 04 Mar-04 May0 4 Jul-04 Sep-04 No v -04TN (mg/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) Figure 3-11. 2003 mean monthly rainfall (repre sented by gray bars), collected from the Pellicer Creek weather station, plotted relative to maximum (top) and minimum (bottom) monthly nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton biomass, and water clarity parameters. A) Color. B) Salinit y. C) TN. D) TP. E) chlorophyll a. F) NH4. G) NO2+3. H) SRP. I) POC. J) turbidity.

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35 D 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18 0.20Ja n-03 Mar-03 May-03 Ju l-03 Sep -03 N o v-03 Jan 0 4 Mar-04 May-04 Jul-04 S e p -04 No v-04TP (mg/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) E 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35Jan-03 Mar 03 M ay -03 Jul-03 S ep -03 Nov-03 Jan-04 Mar-04 May-04 J u l-04 Sep 0 4 Nov 04Chl a (g/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) F 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50Jan 0 3 Ma r -0 3 May-03 Ju l-03 S e p -03 Nov-03 Ja n-04 Mar-04 May-04 Ju l -04 Sep 0 4 No v-04NH4 (mg/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) Figure 3-11. Continued.

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36 G 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25Ja n 0 3 Ma r-0 3 M a y0 3 Jul-03 S e p 03 Nov-03 J a n 0 4 Ma r 0 4 M ay 0 4 Ju l -04 Se p -04 N o v04NO2+3 (mg/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) H 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.10J an0 3 M a r -03 May0 3 J ul-03 S e p-03 No v03 Jan-04 M a r -04 May-04 J ul 04 Sep-04 No v04SRP (mg/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) I 2003-2004 Monthly Max and Min POC and Mean Rainfall0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0Jan-03 Mar-03 May -0 3 J ul 0 3 Se p0 3 Nov -03 Jan-04 Mar04 May-04 Jul-04 S ep-04 Nov 0 4POC (mg/L)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) Figure 3-11. Continued.

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37 J 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35J a n-03 M a r0 3 Ma y -0 3 Jul 03 Sep 03 Nov-0 3 J a n-04 M a r0 4 M ay-04 Jul0 4 Sep 04 Nov-0 4Turbidity (NTU)0 2 4 6 8 10 12Rainfall (mm) Figure 3-11. Continued.

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38 CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION The number of hurricanes striking the southeastern coast of the United States was abnormally high in 2004 and 2005 (Bossak 2004). Th e frequency of straight-moving storms emanating from western Africa has been rising (Bossak 2004), thus th e southeastern United States has experienced unusually he avy rainfall (Elsner 2003). Sin ce the current tr end of intense hurricane activity is predicted to continue fo r the next 5 to 35 years (Goldenberg, Landsea, Mestas-Nuez, and Gray 2001), a ssociated impacts on Florida ecosystems may be accentuated and prolonged. The results of these time intensive observat ions of water quality and meteorological conditions in the Pellicer Creek ecosystem provide insight into the impacts of multiple storm events on environmental variabil ity. In general, the four tr opical systems of 2004 suppressed tidal salinity variations. Although strong northeasterly winds asso ciated with hurricane events initially promoted salinity spikes (Figure 3-2), high rainfall leve ls over the course of the event ultimately had the opposite effect, causing strong declines in salinity for extended periods (Figure 3-5). The severe drops in salinity associ ated with the four hurricanes are comparable to the findings of Sanger et al. ( 2002) and Wenner et al. (2004) fo r National Estuarine Research Rerserve (NERR) sites on the east coast of the United States. They found that storms that approached the east coast generally caused shortterm increases in salinity due to storm surge and longer-term salinity decreases resulting from excess rainfall. Tropical systems moving up the coast were associated with down-estuar y winds and precipitati on that caused reduced salinity. The hurricane effects describe d in this study were generally not outside the two-year variability range. However, temporal salinity pa tterns were different in 2004 than 2003. Graphs

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39 of daily averages put storms in perspective rela tive to the background vari ability of the two-year time series (Figure 4-1). T ypical Florida summer thunderstorms produce about 5 minutes of heavy rain and little wind (Chen and Gerber 1990), while the 2004 hurricanes caused more intense rainfall, sometimes of much longer duration (e.g., during Frances). Strong winds that accompanied tropical storms may have been res ponsible for increasing variation in salinity (Figure 4-1). This was unanticipated since fres h water influx was expected to keep salinities low. In this sense, effects of wind and rainfa ll associated with hurricanes can have somewhat independent impacts that act on separate timeframes. Sampling Scale and Ecosystem Variability Capturing small temporal variability in e nvironmental factors is often essential in understanding driving forces behind processes o ccurring at short times cales. Collection of continuous data at Pellicer Cr eek provided invaluable evidence of hurricane effects. Data collected at half-hour increments were examined to distinguish effects of different storm tracks, intensities, and durations. Hurricane Charley tracked closest to Pellicer Creek, but passed to the southeast. Only a small salinity spike was observed (Figure 3-2a). Both Frances and Jeanne tracked from the south and west of Pellicer Creek, meaning that the station was subjected to the most intense northeastern quadrants of the storms. The larges t salinity spikes resulted from those two storms, with Hurricane Frances having had the greatest impact on water quality of Pellicer Creek. Besides producing the most wind and rain, the one-day shift in salinity from 5-6 September (-19.3 ppt) was the greatest of the entire time series. After Frances conditions remained nearly fresh for two weeks. It is unknown how long thos e conditions would have lasted because Ivans impacts eventually masked them. Ivan and Jeanne delivered less rain than the first two

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40 hurricanes, but possibly because the ground was sa turated by then, they had the same freshening effects as the first two storms (see Valiela et al. 1996, 1998). Comparison of preversus post-storm salini ties is limited for the storms due to their proximity. Salinity magnitude and variance did decline as expected immediately after the storms. Seasonally, however, salinity varian ce was higher during summer 2004 than summer 2003. This is attributed to the sharp salinity sp ikes and frequency of hurricanes. Unlike Wenner et al. (2004) and Orlando et al. (1994), mean salinity dur ing 2003 was lower in summer than in winter. This anomaly is attributed to seasonal effects of multiple hurricanes. Potential Biological Community Impacts Assessing storm effects is an important fo r understanding ecological processes shaping coastal ecosystems. Hurricanes can change plant and animal community structure because organisms can have difficulty adjusting to the as sociated extreme changes in the environment. Montague and Ley (1993) found that stations in Florida Bay with large salinity fluctuations had relatively low biomass and unsta ble species composition. After Cape Fear, North Carolina was hit by six hurricanes in four year s, Mallin et al. (1999) saw bent hic infauna at one station shift from marine to fresh water species dominated. Timing of nutrient release may also play an important role in the community structure for Pellicer Creek and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR since Pellicer Creek may be a source of nitrogen for the estuary. Nega tive correlations between salinity and both TN and color match conclusions of Miller (2004) for water quality in northeast Florid a. Miller hypothesized that Pellicer Creek was a source of nitrogen to nearby intracoastal estuaries. Significant positive correlations between rainfall and a number of water quality constituents, including NH4, TSN, TN, TSP, and turbidity, support th is hypothesis and indi cate that hurricanes increase nutrient load to nearby estuaries. Ther efore, consideration of potential storm frequency is important in

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41 assessing nutrient budgets and anthropogenic impacts (Kennish 2004). The positive correlation between salinity and chlo rophyll a may indicate that the estu ary is a source of phytoplankton to Pellicer Creek. Long-term Consequences In a 2006 Estuaries and Coasts Special Issue addressing hurr icane effects, most authors found impacts to be relatively sh ort-lived (several weeks to mont hs). The findings of this study agree with this relative to water quality. However, since none of the storms were hurricane strength as they passed Pellicer Creek, impacts were not as severe and pote ntially did not last as long as they could have if a stor m hit the area directly. Additive effects of four hurricanes in one season, however, may have ecological implications (Tomasko et al. in press). For example, Valiela et al. (1996) noted the potential importanc e of hurricane frequency fo r nitrogen retention. The timing of hurricane season has important ecological implications (Michener et al. 1997). Typically, the ground is not saturated in early fall and soils are dry enough to absorb initial rain events and recharge wetlands. Howeve r, excessive rainfall can alter the magnitude of river discharge, thereby changing seasonal variab ility in salinity and nutrient loads. Studies of hurricane effects are important, not only in the face of potential increases in storm frequency, but also because the resulting freshwater inflow may mimic the impacts of climate change. Since long-term increases in freshwater run-off affect estuarine community structure (Hayward, Grenfell, Sabaa, Morley, and Horrocks 2006), green house gases, increasing sea surface temperatures, and rising sea levels ar e expected to directly and indirectly impact intertidal wetlands and nearshore aquatic environments (Mic hener et al. 1997, Gibson and Najjar 2000). Ever-increasing development creates mo re impervious surfaces and alters hydrology (Lerberg, Holland, and Sanger 2000, Wenner et al. 2004). Impacts from climate and anthropogenic influences may last longer than those from hurrican es. Studying hurricane effects

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42 can give an idea what might happen to systems given increases in freshwater due to climate change. Hurricanes cannot be managed, but th eir impacts do need to be integrated into management plans (Morrison et al. in press, Paerl et al. in press).

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43 A 0 5 10 15 20 25 301/1/2003 2/1/2003 3/1/2003 4/1/2003 5/1/2003 6/1/2003 7/1/2003 8/1/2003 9/1/2003 10/1/2003 11/1/2003 12/1/2003 1/1/2004 2/1/2004 3/1/2004 4/1/2004 5/1/2004 6/1/2004 7/1/2004 8/1/2004 9/1/2004 10/1/2004 11/1/2004 12/1/2004 Salinity (ppt) B 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 1801/1/2003 2/1/2003 3/1/2003 4/1/2003 5/1/2003 6/1/2003 7/1/2003 8/1/2003 9/1/2003 10/1/2003 11/1/2003 12/1/2003 1/1/2004 2/1/2004 3/1/2004 4/1/2004 5/1/2004 6/1/2004 7/1/2004 8/1/2004 9/1/2004 10/1/2004 11/1/2004 12/1/2004 Total Preci p itation ( mm ) C 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.11/1/2003 2/1/2003 3/1/2003 4/1/2003 5/1/2003 6/1/2003 7/1/2003 8/1/2003 9/1/2003 10/1/2003 11/1/2003 12/1/2003 1/1/2004 2/1/2004 3/1/2004 4/1/2004 5/1/2004 6/1/2004 7/1/2004 8/1/2004 9/1/2004 10/1/2004 11/1/2004 12/1/2004 De p th ( m )

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44 D 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 161/1/2003 2/1/2003 3/1/2003 4/1/2003 5/1/2003 6/1/2003 7/1/2003 8/1/2003 9/1/2003 10/1/2003 11/1/2003 12/1/2003 1/1/2004 2/1/2004 3/1/2004 4/1/2004 5/1/2004 6/1/2004 7/1/2004 8/1/2004 9/1/2004 10/1/2004 11/1/2004 12/1/2004 Wind S p eed ( m/s ) Figure 4-1. Mean daily averag es (2003). A) Salinity. B) Total Precipitation. C) Water Depth. D) Wind Speed.

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45 LIST OF REFERENCES APHA (American Public Health Association). 1998. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Edition. United Book Press, Inc. Baltimore, Maryland. Beven, J.L. 2004. Tropical cyclone report: Hu rricane Frances. Retrieved September 19, 2006, from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2004frances.shtml. Blood, E.R., P. Anderson, P.A. Smith, C. Nybro, and K.A. Ginsberg. 1991. Effects of Hurricane Hugo on coastal soil solution ch emistry in South Carolina. Biotropica 23(4a):348-355. Boesch, D.F., R.J. Diaz, and R.W. Virnstein. 1976. Effects of Tropica l Storm Agnes on softbottom macrobenthic communities of the James and York Estuaries and the Lower Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Science 17(4):246-259. Bossak, B.H. 2004. X marks the spot: Flor ida is the 2004 hurrica nes bulls-eye. Eos 85(50):541-545. Chen, E. and J.F. Gerber. 1990. Climate, p. 11-34. In R.L. Meyers and J.J. Ewel (eds.), Ecosystems of Florida. University of Central Florida Press. Orlando, Florida. Elsner, J.B. 2003. Tracking hurricanes. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 84:353356. Finkl, C.F. and O.H. Pilkey (eds.). 1991. Impacts of Hurricane Hugo: September 10-22, 1989. Journal of Coastal Research 8:1-356. Geyer, W.R. 1997. Influence of wind on dynami cs and flushing of shallow estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 44:713-722. Gibson, J.R. and R.G. Najjar. 2000. The response of Chesapeake Bay salinity to climate-induced changes in streamflow. Limnology and Oceanography 45(8):1764-1772. Goldenberg, S.B., C.W. Landsea, A.M. Mest as-Nuez, and W.M. Gray. 2001. The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity: causes and implications. Science 293:474-479. Grall, J. and L. Chauvaud. 2002. Marine eutr ophication and benthos: the need for new approaches and concepts. Global Change Biology 8:813-830. Hackney, C.T., W.D. Burbanck, and O.P. Hac kney. 1976. Biological and physical dynamics of a Georgia tidal creek. Chesapeake Science 17(4):271-280. Hama, J. and N. Handa. 1994. Variability of the biomass, chemical composition and productivity of phytoplankton in Kinu-ura Ba y, Japan during the rainy season. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 39:497.

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46 Hayward B.W., H.R. Grenfell, A.T. Sabaa, M.S. Morley, and M. Horrocks. 2006. Effect and timing of increased freshwater runoff in to sheltered harbor environments around Auckland City, New Zealand. Estuaries and Coasts 29(2):165-182. Heinle, D.R. and D.A. Flemer. 1976. Flows of materials between poorly flooded tidal marshes and an estuary. Marine Biology 35(4):359-373. Hoese, H.D. 1960. Biotic changes in a ba y associated with the end of a drought. Limnology and Oceanography 5(3):326-336. Imberger, J., T. Berman, R.R. Christian, E.B. Sh err, D.E. Whitney, L.R. Pomeroy, R.G. Wiegert, and W.J. Wiebe. 1983. The influence of water motion on the distribution and transport of materials in a salt marsh estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 28(2):201-214. Jordan, C.L. 1984. Floridas weather and c limate: Implications for water, p. 18-35. In E.A. Fernald and D.J. Patton (eds.), Water Res ources Atlas of Florida. Florida State University. Tallahassee, Florida. Kennish, M.J. 2004. NERRS research and monitoring initiatives. Journal of Coastal Research 45:1-8. Landsea, C.W., R.A. Pielke, A.M. Mestas-Nuez, J.A. Knaff. 1999. Atlantic Basin Hurricanes: Indices of Climatic Changes. Climatic Change 42(1):89-129. Lawrence, M.B. and H.D. Cobb. 2004. Tropical cy clone report: Hurricane Jeanne. Retrieved September 19, 2006, from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2004jeanne.shtml Lerberg, S.B., A.F. Holland, and D.M. Sanger. 2000. Responses of tidal creek macrobenthic communities to the effects of watershed development. Estuaries 23(6):838-853. Mallin, M.A., M.H. Posey, G.C. Shank, M.R. McIver, S.H. Ensign, and T.D. Alphin. 1999. Hurricane effects on water quality and benthos in the cape fear watershed: natural and anthropogenic impacts. Ecological Applications 9(1):350-362. Mallin, M.A., M.H. Posey, M.R. McIver, D. C. Parsons, S.H. Ensign, and T.D. Alphin. 2002. Impacts and recovery from multiple hurricanes in a Piedmont-Coastal Plain river system. BioScience 52(11):999-1010. McMillan, C.A. 1974. Salt tolerance of mangroves and submerged aquatic plants, p. 379-390. In R.J. Reimold and W.H. Queen (eds.), The Ec ology of Halophytes. Academic Press. New York. McMillan, C.A. and F.N. Moseley. 1967. Salinity to lerances of five marine spermatophytes of Redfish Bay, Texas. Ecology 48:503-506.

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47 Michener, W.K., E.R. Blood, K.L. Bildstein, M.M. Brinson, a nd L.R. Gardner. 1997. Climate change, hurricanes and tropical storms, a nd rising sea level in coastal wetlands. Ecological Applications 7(3):770-801. Miller, J.D. 2004. Status and trends of water qua lity in the Northern Coastal Basin. St. Johns River Water Management District. Palatka, Florida. Montague, C.L. and J.A. Ley. 1993. A possible effect of salinity fluctuation on abundance of benthic vegetation and associated fauna in northeastern Florida Bay. Estuaries 16(4):703717. Montague, C.L. and R.G. Wieg ert. 1990. Salt Marshes, p. 481-516. In R.L. Meyers and J.J. Ewel (eds.), Ecosystems of Florida. University of Central Florida Press. Orlando, Florida. Morrison, G., E.T. Sherwood, R. Boler, and J. Barron. 2006. Variations in chlorophyll a and water clarity in Tampa Bay, Florida, in res ponse to hurricane-relat ed rainfall and other extreme hydrologic events. Estuaries and Coasts 29(S):In Press. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra tion, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Estuarine Research Reserve System-wide Monitoring Program. 2004. Centralized Data Manageme nt Office, Baruch Marine Field Lab, University of South Carolina http ://cdmo.baruch.sc.edu. Nixon, S. 1980. Between coastal marshes and coasta l waters: a review of twenty years of speculation and research on the role of salt marshes in estu arine productivity and water chemistry, p. 438-525. In P. Hamilton and K. MacDonald (eds.), Estuarine and Wetland Processes. Plenum, New York. Orlando, S.P., Jr., P.H. Wendt, C.J. Klein, M.E. Pattillo, K.C. Dennis, and G.H. Ward. 1994. Salinity characteristics of South Atlantic estuaries. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment. Silver Spring, Maryland. Paerl, H.W., L.M. Valdes, A.R. Joyner, B.L. Peierls, M.F. Piehler, S.R. Riggs, R.R. Christian, L.A. Eby, L.B. Crowder, J.S. Ramus, E.J. Cl esceri, C.P. Buzzelli, and R.A. Luettich, Jr. 2006. Ecological response to hurricane even ts in the Pamlico Sound System, NC and implications for assessment and management in a regime of increased frequency. Estuaries and Coasts 29(S):In Press. Pasch, R.J. D.P. Brown, and E.S. Blake. 2004. Tropical cyclone re port: Hurricane Charley. Retrieved September 19, 2006, from http ://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2004charley.shtml. Proffitt, CE. 1999. Preliminary assessment of Hurricane Mitch damage in Honduras. Gulf Research Reports 11:75-76.

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48 Sanger, D.M., M.D. Arendt, Y. Chen, E.L. Wenn er, A.F. Holland, D. Edwards, and J. Caffrey. 2002. A synthesis of water quality data: Nati onal Estuarine Research Reserve SystemWide Monitoring Program (1995-2000). National Estuarine Research Reserve Technical Report Series 2002: 3. South Carolina Depa rtment of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division Contribution No. 500. Sartory, D.P. and J.U. Grobbelaar. 1984. Extraction of chlorophyll a from freshwater phytoplankton for spectrophotometric analysis. Hydrobiologia 114:177-187. Simpson, R.H. and H. Riehl. 1981. The hurricane and its impact. Louisi ana State University Press. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. SAS Institute, Inc. 1999-2000. SAS Version 8. SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC. Stevens, P.W., D.A. Blewett, and J.P. Casey. 2006. Short-term effects of a low dissolved oxygen event on estuarine fish assemblages following the passage of Hurricane Charley. Estuaries and Coasts 29(S):In Press. Stewart, S.R. 2004. Tropical cy clone report: Hurricane Ivan. Retrieved September 19, 2006, from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2004ivan.shtml. Strickland, J.D.H. and T.R. Parsons. 1972. A Practical Handbook of Seawater Analysis: Determination of Ammonia (Oxidation Method) Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Switzer, T.S., B.L. Winner, N.M. Dunham, J.A. Whittington, and M. Thomas. 2006. Influence of sequential hurricanes on nekton communities in a southeast Florida estuary: short-term effects in the context of historical variations in freshwater inflow. Estuaries and Coasts 29(S):In Press. Tabb, D.C. and A.C. Jones. 1962. Effect of Hurr icane Donna on aquatic fauna of North Florida Bay. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 91:375-378. Tilmant, J.T., R.W. Curry, R. Jones, A. Szmant, J.C. Zieman, M. Flora, M.B. Robblee, D. Smith, R.W. Snow, and H. Wanless. 1994. Hurricane Andrews effects on marine resources. BioScience 44(4):230-237. Tomasko, D.A., C. Anastasiou, and C. Kovac h. 2006. Dissolved oxygen dynamics in Charlotte Harbor and its contributing watershed, in response to Hurricanes Charley and Frances and Jeanne impacts and recovery. Estuaries and Coasts 29(S):In Press. Valiela, I., J.M. Teal, S. Volkmann, D. Shafer, E.J. Carpenter. 1978. Nutrient and particulate fluxes in a salt marsh ecosystem: tidal exchanges and inputs by precipitation and groundwater. Limnology and Oceanography 23(4):798-812.

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49 Valiela, I., P. Peckol, C. DAvanzo, K. Lajtha, J. Kremer, W.R. Geyer, K. Foreman, D. Hersh, B. Seely, T. Isaji, and R. Crawford. 1996. Hurricane Bob on Cape Cod. American Scientist 84:154-165. Valiela, I., J. McClelland, J. Hauxwell, P.J. Behr, D. Hersh, and K. Foreman. 1997. Macroalgal blooms in shallow estuaries: controls and ecophysiological and ecosystem consequences. Limnology and Oceanography 42(5):1105-1118. Valiela, I., P. Peckol, C. DAvanzo, K. Lajtha, J. Kremer, D. Hersh, K. Foreman, K. Lajtha, B. Seely, W.R. Geyer, T. Isaji, and R. Craw ford. 1998. Ecological effects of major storms on coastal watersheds and coastal waters: Hurricane Bob on Cape Cod. Journal of Coastal Research 14(1):218-238. Van Dolah, R.F. and G.S. Anderson. 1991. Effects of Hurricane Hugo on salinity and dissolved oxygen conditions in the Charleston Harbor Estuary. Journal of Coastal Research 8:8394. Venrick, E.L. 1978. Sampling Techniques, p.33-67. In A. Sournia (ed.), Phytoplankton Manual. United Nations Educational, Scientific a nd Cultural Organization. Paris, France. Walker, L.R., D.J. Lodge, N.V.L. Brokaw, and R.B. Waide. 1991. An introduction to hurricanes in the Caribbean. Biotropica 23(4a):313-316. Walker, N.D. 2001. Tropical storm and hurricane wind effects on water le vel, salinity, and sediment transport in the river-influenced Atchafalaya-Vermilion Bay System, Louisiana, USA. Estuaries 24(4):498-508. Ward, L.G. 2004. Variations in physical properti es and water quality in the Webhannet River Estuary (Wells National Estuarin e Research Reserve, Maine). Journal of Coastal Research 45(S):39-58. Wenner, E.L., A.F.Holland, M.D. Arendt, Y. Chen, D. Edwards, C. Miller, M. Meece, and J. Caffrey. 2001. A synthesis of water quality data from the National Estuarine Research Reserves System-Wide Monitoring Program. NOAA Grant NA97OR0209, MRD Contribution No. 459. Wenner, E.L. and M. Geist. 2001. The National Estu arine Research Reserves program to monitor and preserve estuarine waters. Coastal Management 29:1-17. Wenner, E., D. Sanger, M. Arendt, A.F. Holland, and Y. Chen. 2004. Variability in dissolved oxygen and other water-quality variables within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Journal of Coastal Research 45: 17-38. Wikipedia contributors. 2006. Ca tastrophic Florida hurricanes: 1961-present. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:22, March 29, 2006 from

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50 http://en.wikipedia.org/w /index.php?title=Catastrophic_Florida_hurricanes:_1961present&oldid=45472641 Woodwell, G.M., D.E. Whitney, C.A.S. Hall, and R.A. Houghton. 1977. The Flax Pond ecosystem study: exchanges of carbon in water between a salt marsh and Long Island Sound. Limnology and Oceanography 22(5):833-838.

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51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Nicole Dix grew up in Longwood, FL, and gra duated from Lake Mary High School. She is a biologist with particular interests in estuarin e ecology. She graduate d from Florida State University in December of 2002 with a B.S. in bi ology and a B.S. in science education. After graduating, Nicole worked in Orlando, FL, for Gl atting Jackson in the environmental consulting department. Her responsibilities included performing endangered species surveys, writing permitting reports, delineating and monitoring wetlands, and conducting a vegetative biomass study along the Kissimmee River. Nico le started her masters work at the University of Florida in the fall of 2004 under the supe rvision of Dr. Edward Phlips. She was involved in a coastal impact study of the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm general chemical anal yses and processing of water samples in the lab, and monthly water qua lity monitoring in the estuarine environments near St. Augustine, FL. Nicole obtained her M.S. in fisheries and aquatic sciences in the fall of 2006, and received a three-year Ph.D. fellowship fr om the National Estuarine Research Reserve program to continue her research and education.


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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0017760/00001

Material Information

Title: Temporal Changes in Salinity and Nutrient Regimes of a Tidal Creek within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida, Associated with the 2004 Hurricanes
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Dix, Nicole ( Dissertant )
Philips, Edward ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Thesis, M. S.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: Hurricanes and the associated shifts in wind speed and water levels can impact the integrity of near-shore aquatic ecosystems. Continuous data from Pellicer Creek within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, were combined with monthly measures of nutrient and water clarity parameters to explore the effects of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. In general, the four tropical systems of 2004 suppressed tidal salinity variations. Although strong northeasterly winds associated with the hurricane events initially prompted salinity spikes, high rainfall levels over the course of the event ultimately had the opposite effect, causing strong declines in salinity for extended periods of time. Shortened residence times during the hurricanes decreased phytoplankton standing crop, and freshwater runoff was associated with increased nutrients. The number of intense storms striking the southeastern coast of the United States was abnormally high in 2004 and 2005, and since the pattern is expected to continue, associated impacts on Florida ecosystems may be accentuated and prolonged. The results of these time intensive observations of water quality and meteorological conditions in the Pellicer Creek ecosystem provide insight into the impacts of multiple storm events on environmental variability.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, M. S.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographic references.
General Note: Vita.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 51 p.
General Note: Title from title page of document.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0017760:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0017760/00001

Material Information

Title: Temporal Changes in Salinity and Nutrient Regimes of a Tidal Creek within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida, Associated with the 2004 Hurricanes
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Dix, Nicole ( Dissertant )
Philips, Edward ( Thesis advisor )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Thesis, M. S.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: Hurricanes and the associated shifts in wind speed and water levels can impact the integrity of near-shore aquatic ecosystems. Continuous data from Pellicer Creek within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, were combined with monthly measures of nutrient and water clarity parameters to explore the effects of Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. In general, the four tropical systems of 2004 suppressed tidal salinity variations. Although strong northeasterly winds associated with the hurricane events initially prompted salinity spikes, high rainfall levels over the course of the event ultimately had the opposite effect, causing strong declines in salinity for extended periods of time. Shortened residence times during the hurricanes decreased phytoplankton standing crop, and freshwater runoff was associated with increased nutrients. The number of intense storms striking the southeastern coast of the United States was abnormally high in 2004 and 2005, and since the pattern is expected to continue, associated impacts on Florida ecosystems may be accentuated and prolonged. The results of these time intensive observations of water quality and meteorological conditions in the Pellicer Creek ecosystem provide insight into the impacts of multiple storm events on environmental variability.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, M. S.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographic references.
General Note: Vita.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 51 p.
General Note: Title from title page of document.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0017760:00001


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TEMPORAL CHANGES IN SALINITY AND NUTRIENT REGIMES OF A TIDAL CREEK
WITHIN THE GUANA TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH
RESERVE, FL ASSOCIATED WITH THE 2004 HURRICANES




















By

NICOLE DIX


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2006

































Copyright 2006

by

Nicole Dix



































To my new husband, Shane Pangle









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to acknowledge all of the past and present Phlips Lab employees who helped

with the sampling, processing, and chemistry needed to obtain the data for this project. In

particular, I would like to thank Jean Lockwood, Ken Black, and Katie O'Donnell. Of course,

this proj ect would not have been possible without the foresight and persistence of Rick Gleeson

and NOAA' s National Estuarine Research Reserve to set up and manage the continuous

monitoring network. Finally, I thank my husband, Shane Pangle, for his love and support, and

for keeping me laughing.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES .........__.. ..... .__. ...............6....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............7.....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........8


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............9.......... ......


2 M ETHODS ................. ...............12.......... .....


Site Description .............. ...............12....
Data Collection ................ ...............12.................
W ater Chemistry ................. ...............13.......... ......
Data Analysis............... ...............14


3 RE SULT S ................. ...............17.......... .....


Salinity and Meteorological Conditions during Storm Events ................ ............ .........17
Hurricane Charley .............. ...............17....
Hurricane Frances .....__................. ...............18.......
Hurricane Ivan ....__ ................ ...............18.......
Hurricane Jeanne .............. ...............19....
Seasonal Salinity Patterns ............ ............ ...............19...
Seasonal Water Quality Patterns .............. ...............20....


4 DI SCUS SSION ............_........... ............... 8....


Sampling Scale and Ecosystem Variability .....__................. ............... 39.....
Potential Biological Community Impacts ......____ ..... ........ .....__ ...........4
Long-Term Consequences .....__................. ...............41.......

LIST OF REFERENCES ............_........... ...............45...


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............_........... ...............51...










LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 Total rainfall and average wind speed for the 2004 hurricanes. ............. ....................22

3-2 Mean daily salinity (ppt) two weeks before and four weeks after the 2004 hurricanes. ...22

3-3 Summary statistics (based on daily averages) describing the distribution of salinity
(ppt), daily rainfall totals (mm), wind speed (m/s), and water depth (m) for the 2003-
2004 tim e series.. ............ ...............23.....

3-4 Spearman's correlation between mean monthly rainfall totals and salinity, and SRP,
TSP, TP, NO2+3, N4, TSN, TN, chlorophyll a, turbidity, color, and TSS. ......................24










LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

2-1 Location map of Pellicer Creek and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine
Research Reserve monitoring stations. .............. ...............16....

3-1 A time series plot for 2-3 June, 2004 representative of times with little rain or wind.
The solid line represents salinity. The dashed line represents water depth. Pearson's
p = 0.77 (p<0.0001) for salinity and depth. Readings were obtained from the Pellicer
Creek water quality monitoring station at 0.5 hour intervals............... ...............2

3-2 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Charley, 13-15 August, 2004. A)
Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity...............26

3-3 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Frances, 4-6 September, 2004. A)
Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity...............27

3-4 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Ivan, 19-21 September, 2004. A)
Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity...............28

3-5 Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Jeanne, 25-27 September, 2004. A)
Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity...............29

3-6 Wind direction in relationship to orientation of Pellicer Creek ................. ................ ..30

3-7 2004 hurricane tracks. A) Charley. B) Frances. C) Ivan. D) Jeanne (Wikipedia 2006)....31

3-8 Mean daily salinity (ppt) at the Pellicer Creek water quality station two weeks before
Hurricane Charley and four weeks after Hurricane Jeanne. ............. .....................3

3-9 Summer salinity (June-September) collected at 0.5 hour intervals from the Pellicer
Creek water quality station. A) 2003. B) 2004. ................ ............. ..................32

3-10 Wind direction histograms. A) Summer 2003 and summer 2004 combined.
B) Summer 2003. C) Summer 2004. D) Winter 2003-2004. ................ .....................33

3-11 2003-2004 mean monthly rainfall (represented by gray bars), collected from the
Pellicer Creek weather station, plotted relative to maximum (top) and minimum
(bottom) monthly nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton biomass, and water clarity
parameters. A) Color. B) Salinity. C) TN. D) TP. E) chlorophyll a. F) NH4. G)
NO2+3. H) SRP. I) POC. J) turbidity. ............. ...............34.....

4-1 Mean daily averages (2003-2004). A) Salinity. B) Total Precipitation. C) Water
Depth. D) W ind Speed. .............. ...............44....









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Master of Science

TEMPORAL CHANGES IN SALINITY AND NUTRIENT REGIMES OF A TIDAL CREEK
WITHIN THE GUANA TOLOMATO MATANZAS NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH
RESERVE, FL ASSOCIATED WITH THE 2004 HURRICANES

By

Nicole Dix

December 2006

Chair: Edward Phlips
Major Department: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Hurricanes and the associated shifts in wind speed and water levels can impact the

integrity of near-shore aquatic ecosystems. Continuous data from Pellicer Creek within the

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, were combined with monthly

measures of nutrient and water clarity parameters to explore the effects of Hurricanes Charley,

Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. In general, the four tropical systems of 2004 suppressed tidal salinity

variations. Although strong northeasterly winds associated with the hurricane events initially

prompted salinity spikes, high rainfall levels over the course of the event ultimately had the

opposite effect, causing strong declines in salinity for extended periods of time. Shortened

residence times during the hurricanes decreased phytoplankton standing crop, and freshwater

runoff was associated with increased nutrients. The number of intense storms striking the

southeastern coast of the United States was abnormally high in 2004 and 2005, and since the

pattern is expected to continue, associated impacts on Florida ecosystems may be accentuated

and prolonged. The results of these time intensive observations of water quality and

meteorological conditions in the Pellicer Creek ecosystem provide insight into the impacts of

multiple storm events on environmental variability.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

Hurricanes, and their effect on coastal ecosystems, have become a popular subj ect of

research in recent years due to the increasing availability of long-term datasets (Walker, Lodge,

Brokaw, and Waide 1991; Valiela et al. 1996; Wenner and Geist 2001; Kennish 2004) and

concern about potential ramifications of increases in the frequency of intense storms (Finkl and

Pilkey 1991; Landsea, Pielke, Mestas-Nufiez, and Knaff 1999; Elsner 2003; Bossak 2004; Paerl

et al. in press; Switzer, Winner, Dunham, Whittington, and Thomas in press). Rapid and large

shifts in wind speed and water levels can affect the integrity of near-shore aquatic ecosystems

(Hoese 1960; Geyer 1997; Michener, Blood, Bildstein, Brinson, and Gardner 1997; Valiela et al.

1996, 1998). Many studies have focused on the influence of hurricanes on estuarine water

quality and biological community structure, and common findings include spatial and temporal

changes in water level, light attenuation, sediment distribution, salinity regime, dissolved

oxygen, water temperature, nutrient concentrations, and macrobenthic community composition

(Boesch, Diaz, and Virnstein 1976; Simpson and Riehl 1981; Blood, Anderson, Smith, Nybro,

and Ginsberg 1991; Van Dolah and Anderson 1991; Tilmant et al. 1994; Mallin et al. 1999;

Proffitt 1999; Ward 2004; Hagy et al. 2006; Morrison, Sherwood, Boler, and Barron in press;

Stevens, Blewett, and Casey in press). The goal of this project was to explore the effects of

hurricanes on key physiochemical factors associated with the ecology of a tidal creek on the

northeast coast of Florida.

The 2004 hurricane season was one of the most active seasons on record for the North

Atlantic Basin. Florida experienced four intense hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne)

within a span of less than two months (August-September, 2004). The environmental

monitoring network of the National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System-Wide









Monitoring Program (SWMP) provided an opportunity to investigate temporal changes in

physiochemical and meteorological properties associated with the passage of these tropical

systems over Florida (NOAA 2004). Data from the Pellicer Creek weather and water quality

stations, managed by the Guana Tolomato Matanzas (GTM) NERR, were combined in this study

with monthly measures of nutrient and water clarity. The impacts of storm events were then

related to typical daily and seasonal variability to assess the relative magnitude and character of

deviations associated with storm events.

Although the GTMNERR network collects data on a variety of physical properties in

Pellicer Creek, including salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH, the focus of this part

of the study was salinity because it is a key factor in the distribution of estuarine organisms

(Tabb and Jones 1962; McMillan and Moseley 1967; McMillan 1974; Hackney, Burbanck, and

Hackney 1976; Boesch et al. 1976; Mallin 1999, 2002; Walker 2001; Wenner, Sanger, Arendt,

Holland, and Chen 2004) and can be used to characterize hydrodynamics in estuaries (Imberger

et al. 1983, Orlando et al. 1994). Spatial and temporal patterns in salinity are also valuable

descriptors when developing management plans for estuaries (Orlando et al. 1994, Gibson and

Najj ar 2000). For example, Montague and Ley (1993) assessed the potential impacts of sudden

changes in salinity on an estuary in northeast Florida Bay as part of a management plan to divert

freshwater flows in the Florida Everglades. They combined environmental measurements with

benthic vegetation/macrofauna sampling and found a negative correlation between the standard

deviation of salinity and biotic density/plant biomass. Therefore, environmental stress may not

only be caused by changes in the relative magnitudes of water quality parameters, but also by

their variability. Storm events can greatly accelerate rates and magnitudes of change.









In addition to the GTMNERR monitoring data, nutrient concentrations, water clarity

indicators and phytoplankton standing crop (i.e., chlorophyll a concentrations) were used to

explore the impacts of storm events further. These parameters are linked to trophic status and

also influence biological community structure and function (Valiela et al. 1997, Grall and

Chauvaud 2002). Intertidal wetlands, such as those surrounding Pellicer Creek, are productive

ecosystems (Montague and Wiegert 1990) that can contribute nutrients to nearby coastal waters

(Heinle and Flemer 1976; Woodwell, Whitney, Hall, and Houghton 1977; Valiela, Teal,

Volkmann, Shafer, and Carpenter 1978; Nixon 1980). Potential nutrient sources for Pellicer

Creek include direct rainwater input, surface-water run-off, and groundwater seepage. All are

potentially affected by passing storms. Extreme rainfall can cause higher than average nutrient

concentrations in aquatic coastal ecosystems (Hama and Handa 1994, Valiela et al. 1996, 1998).

Two main research obj ectives were pursued in this study within the context of several

related hypotheses:

1. Describe relationships between salinity and several key morphometric and meteorological
factors including water depth, wind speed and direction, and precipitation.

Hypothesis 1: Hurricanes will affect the typical diel cycle of salinity (two peaks and
troughs per day corresponding to high and low tide respectively) by resulting in
accentuated levels during strong onshore winds and suppressed levels during offshore
winds.

Hypothesis 2: Mean salinity will be higher and less variable during summer 2003
than summer 2004 due to absence of hurricanes in the former year.

2. Determine temporal changes in nutrient levels, water clarity, and phytoplankton biomass and
how they relate to wind speed and direction, and precipitation seasonally.

Hypothesis 3: Hurricanes will result in increased watershed runoff, which in turn will
lead to an immediate increase in nutrient concentrations, particulate material, and
dissolved organic matter (color) and an initial decline in chlorophyll a. Chlorophyll a
concentrations will rise in the months following maj or storms, resulting in decreased
bioavailable nutrients.









CHAPTER 2
METHOD S

Site Description

Pellicer Creek is a maj or tributary of the Matanzas River and the Guana Tolomato

Matanzas (GTM) estuary (Figure 2-1). It is the boundary between St. Johns and Flagler counties

in northeast Florida, an area of humid subtropical climate (Chen and Gerber 1990). The wet

season coincides occurs in summer (June to September), and the area has approximately 132 cm

of rainfall annually. Pellicer Creek experiences semi-diurnal tides with an average range of 0.6

m (NOAA 2004). The majority of the creek is surrounded by public conservation lands. The

sediment type is muddy sand (NOAA 2004), and the water is rich in dissolved organic matter

relative to the entire estuary. Salinity at the water quality station (Figure 2-1) ranges from

freshwater to almost seawater.

Data Collection

Weather and water quality data collection methods are standardized among the 26

established National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) sites (Kennish 2004), although station

locations vary depending on specific reserve interests. The GTMNERR manages a

meteorological station at the mouth of Pellicer Creek and four water quality monitoring stations

throughout the estuary. The Pellicer Creek water quality monitoring station, located

approximately 4 kilometers upstream from the weather station (Figure 2-1), was used in this

analysis to minimize spatial variability. Data were recorded at 15- and 30-minute intervals at the

weather and water quality stations, respectively. After quality assurance, data were published on

the Centralized Data Management Office website (http://cdmo.baruch. sc.edu). The continuous

time series of weather and water quality data was downloaded from the website, and the 15- and

45-minute observations were deleted from the weather dataset to match timestamps of the water










quality series. Due to data logger malfunctions, the weather station did not record data for 32

days during portions of September, October, and November 2003. Malfunctions at the water

quality station resulted in missing salinity and depth data for 1 May to 12 May, 2004 and 27 June

to 7 July, 2004. These missing data may cause slightly biased averages, but should not affect

general interpretations.

In addition to continuous in situ monitoring data, water was collected at the same location

as the GTMNERR water quality station on a monthly basis. One integrated sample from the

entire column of water and two samples from 1 m above the bottom were collected with a PVC

pole (Venrick 1978). In addition, an ISCO automatic sampler was deployed to collect water

samples from 1 m above the bottom every 2.5 hours for one complete tidal cycle. Samples from

both collection methods were brought back to the lab on ice and processed in similar manner for

the determination of nutrient concentrations, including total nitrogen (TN), total soluble nitrogen

(TSN), total phosphorus (TP), total soluble phosphorus (TSP), nitrate (NO3), nitrite (NO2),

ammonium (NH4), and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), as well as water clarity parameters

such as chlorophyll a, total suspended solids (TSS), dissolved organic matter (color), and

turbidity.

Water Chemistry

Whole water samples were used to determine concentrations of TN, TP, TSS, chlorophyll

a, particulate organic carbon (POC), and turbidity. To determine TN and TP, samples were

digested and measured colorometrically on a Bran-Luebbe autoanalyzer (TN) and a dual-beam

scanning spectrophotometer (TP) (APHA 1998). Analysis methods for TSN and TSP were the

same as those for TN and TP, respectively, but samples were filtered first through PALL A/E

glass-fiber filters (1lym pore size) (APHA 1998). To measure TSS, aliquots of whole water were

filtered through pre-weighed glass-fiber filters (1.5 Clm pore size). Filters were subsequently









dried at 104oC, placed in a desiccator, and re-weighed (APHA 1998). Chlorophyll a was

processed using the Sartory and Grobbelaar (1984) ethanol extraction method. Absorbances

were determined using a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer relative to a blank cuvette,

according to Standard Methods (APHA 1998). To determine POC concentrations, aliquots of

whole water were filtered through pre-burned (to eliminate any residual organic carbon) glass-

fiber filters (0.7 Clm pore size). Filters were dried at 80oC, and organic carbon concentration was

determined using a coulometer (APHA 1998). Turbidity was measured in Nephelometric

Turbidity Units (NTU) using a LaMotte Model 2020 Turbidimeter.

Aliquots to be used for color and available nutrient analyses were filtered through glass-

fiber filters (1l m pore size), stored in a freezer (NH4, NO3, and NO2) Or refrigerator (SRP and

color), and read within 48 hours of collection. Ammonium, nitrate, and nitrite concentrations

were determined colorometrically on a Bran-Luebbe autoanalyzer (Strickland and Parsons 1972,

APHA 1998). SRP concentrations were measured on a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer

at 882nm following standard methods (APHA 1998). Color values were measured against a

platinum-cobalt standard using a dual-beam scanning spectrophotometer (APHA 1998).

Data Analysis

Continuous and monthly water quality data were combined with information from the

meteorological station in an attempt to determine relationships between salinity, water depth,

nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations, and storm conditions (i.e., rainfall, wind speed, and

wind direction). Daily and seasonal averages were calculated to describe general physical

characteristics of Pellicer Creek and examine possible storm effects. Summer was defined as the

period between June and September. Winter was defined as January and February 2003,

November 2003 to February 2004, and November and December 2004.










Sanger et al. (2002) and Wenner et al. (2004) measured storm effects by looking at the

time it took for a parameter to return to pre-storm conditions. They defined "pre-storm" as two

weeks before the storm and "post-storm" as four weeks after. Similarly, daily means and

coefficients of variance (CV) were calculated both for salinity values before and after storms and

for summer seasons of both years. Comparisons were limited for storms temporally close

together due to overlaps in pre- and post-storm timeframes. Descriptive statistics of the entire

time series were used to explore seasonal variability. The Wilcoxon sign-rank test was used to

test for differences between mean daily salinity during summer 2003 and summer 2004.

Spearman's Rank Correlation was used to examine the association between salinity and depth for

a typical day with little rainfall or wind. The Spearman's Rank Correlation was also used to

examine relationships between rainfall, salinity, and all other parameters. Non-parametric tests

were used after determining that most parameters were not normally distributed according to the

Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for goodness-of-fit. SAS statistical software (1999-2000) was used to

calculate all test statistics (a = 0.05).





Figure 2-1. Location map of Pellicer Creek and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine
Research Reserve monitoring stations.









CHAPTER 3
RESULTS

Salinity and Meteorological Conditions during Storm Events

The nearly continuous salinity and weather time series for Pellicer Creek made it possible

to examine typical daily variations and immediate storm effects. In times of little wind and

rainfall activity, salinity variance followed oscillations typical of semidiurnal tides within the

region (Figure 3-1). Two slightly unequal peaks and two troughs per day corresponded to high

and low tides, respectively (p = 0.77).

A comparison of total rainfall and average wind speed for each of the 2004 hurricanes is

provided in Table 3-1. Each hurricane resulted in short-term changes in rainfall, wind speed,

wind direction, and salinity (Figure 3-2). Figure 3-3 puts wind direction in perspective with

respect to the orientation of the creek. The following summary illustrates the relationships

among salinity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation at the diel timescale:

Hurricane Charley

In the middle of August 2004, Hurricane Charley struck the southwest coast of Florida as a

Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. It traveled northeasterly across the

state and exited around Daytona Beach (Figure 3-4, Pasch, Brown, and Blake 2004). During

Charley, the Pellicer Creek weather station recorded a maximum wind speed of 17.9 meters per

second (m/s) and 9. 1 cm of rainfall on 13 August (Figure 3-2a). The station was experiencing

southeasterly winds before passage of Charley; however, winds shifted to north-northeasterly

and increased in strength during the storm. The up-creek winds, and resulting increase of almost

20 cm above mean pre-storm water level, coincided with the observed increase in salinity. The

second smaller peak on 14 August coincided with a 19 cm drop in water depth. Two weeks

before passage of Charley, mean daily salinity was 12.2 ppt (Table 3-2, Figure 3-5).










Immediately after the storm, salinities dropped to approximately 1 ppt, and water stayed fresh for

11 days. Salinities began to rise, showing typical tidal oscillations, on 25August, but they

remained below the pre-storm average for 20 days until salinity spiked on 5 September.

Hurricane Frances

Hurricane Frances made landfall on Florida's southeast coast as a Category 2 on

September 5, 2004. The storm center traveled into the Gulf of Mexico and north through the Big

Bend region of the panhandle (Figure 3-4). Most of central and north Florida experienced more

than 25 cm of rain during Frances (Beven 2004). As evident in Figure 3-2b, rain and winds

lasted longer during Frances than during Charley. Maximum wind speed at the Pellicer Creek

weather station for the entire 2003-2004 time series (18.5 m/s) and highest daily total

precipitation (17.3 cm) were recorded during passage of Frances. Average salinity two weeks

before the storm was 1.8 ppt with a coefficient of variance (CV) of 96. On 5 September, salinity

peaked at 29.8 ppt, then steadily dropped to zero. Water remained fresh and exhibited much

smaller variability (CV = 9) until 20 September when salinities became elevated during passage

of Ivan.

Hurricane Ivan

While Frances was crossing Florida, another tropical storm, Ivan, was strengthening into a

hurricane about 1,600 kilometers east of Tobago. Hurricane Ivan traveled north through the Gulf

of Mexico, making landfall on the southern coast of Alabama on 16 September, 2004 (Figure 3-

4). The storm weakened over land, but continued tracking northeast over the southeastern U.S.

Ivan took a southern turn when it re-entered the Atlantic Ocean on 19 September and completed

its loop by crossing the southern tip of Florida and turning back north toward Louisiana (Stewart

2004). Ivan' s effect on the salinity and climate of Pellicer Creek can be seen in the time series

from 19-21 September, 2004 (Figure 3-2c). Waters were fresh before the storm due to the









influence of Frances. However, salinity spiked to 19.5 ppt on 20 September as winds blew from

the northeast. Total rainfall on September 20 was 3.4 cm. Salinities fell after the initial spike

and remained low until 25 September.

Hurricane Jeanne

Hurricane Jeanne made landfall early 26 September, 2004 on Florida' s east coast near

Stuart as a Category 3 storm (Figure 3-4). It traveled west-northwest, weakening to a tropical

storm north of Tampa (Lawrence and Cobb 2004). Salinity increased to 8.9 ppt on 26 September

(Figure 3-2d), but levels dropped on 27 September and remained below 1ppt for 10 days. After

Jeanne, salinity remained below the pre-Charley average (12.2 ppt) for over three weeks (28

September-21 October, Table 3-2). Maximum water depth for the entire 2003-2004 time series,

2.4 m, was reached during the passage of Jeanne on 26 September.

Seasonal Salinity Patterns

Salinity variance patterns are evident in seasonal comparisons (Table 3-3). Mean daily

salinity during summer 2003 was significantly higher than that during summer 2004 (p <

0.0005). The CV was much lower in summer 2003 than in summer 2004. The histograms in

Figure 3-6 represent summer salinity distributions for 2003 and 2004 and demonstrate that the

Pellicer Creek water quality station experienced freshwater conditions about twice as often in

summer 2004 than in summer 2003.

The CV for both salinity and wind speed were much lower in winter than in summer

(Table 3-3). This may allude to the influence of wind on salinity. Prevailing winds were from

the northwest in winter and from the south in summer (Figure 3-7). Mean salinity for the two-

year time series was lower in summer than winter (Table 3-3).









Seasonal Water Quality Patterns

Minimum and maximum monthly values for water quality parameters were plotted over

time relative to mean monthly rainfall (Figure 3-8). Because the rainfall time series from

September-November 2003 contained data gaps, monthly averages may have been low

estimates.

In general, color values increased with rainfall. One notable exception was in June 2004.

A large rain event on 26 June created a fairly high monthly average; however, since the pole and

ISCO samples were collected in the beginning of the month, they do not reflect the rain event.

Seasonally, there were bimodal peaks, one in late summer and another in the spring (Figure 3-

8a), coinciding with the rainfall pattern described for this region by Jordan (1984) and Chen and

Gerber (1990). Salinity was generally inversely related to rainfall patterns (Figure 3-8b).

Little diel variation existed in TN and TP concentrations, with a few exceptions (Figure

3-8c,d). On 26 March, 2003, salinity ranged from 3-14 ppt. Highest salinities corresponded with

lowest TN values and vice versa, suggesting that nitrogen followed freshwater flow of the creek.

A similar pattern occurred on 26 August, 2003. In general, TN and TP concentrations followed

rainfall patterns. TP did not, however, increase during the 2004 hurricane season.

Increased flushing in spring and summer 2004 (illustrated by high color concentrations)

resulted in low chlorophyll a concentrations and suppressed diel variability (Figure 3-8e).

Therefore, as hypothesized, shortened residence times during the hurricanes decreased

phytoplankton standing crop. As expected, maximum chlorophyll a levels began to rise in

October 2004 when average rainfall declined. However, the rise in phytoplankton levels did not

result in a decrease in bioavailable nutrients. In fact, NH4 and NO2+3 were elevated in November

2004 (Figure 3-8f,g). The large ammonium peak is likely due to low oxygen conditions causing

inorganic nitrogen to exist largely in reduced form. SRP ranges were fairly low after the









hurricanes of 2004 (Figure 3-8h), suggesting that SRP was either diluted by fresh water runoff or

consumed by bacteria or phytoplankton. POC was more variable in 2004 than in 2003 (Figure 3-

8i).

Correlation analysis revealed no statistical relationship between rainfall and soluble

versus particulate material (Table 3-4). However, mean monthly rainfall totals were significantly

and positively correlated with NH4, TSN, TN, TSP, and turbidity. In addition, average monthly

salinity values were negatively correlated with NO2+3, TSN, TN, and color and positively

correlated with chlorophyll a.










Table 3-1. Total rainfall and average wind speed for the 2004 hurricanes.
Dates of Impact Total Rainfall Average Wind
Hurricane on Pellicer Creek (mm) Speed (m/s)
Charley August 11-15 129.6 1.92
Frances September 3-6 204.5 11.63
Ivan September 20 34.2 8.68
Jeanne September 25-26 61.2 13.63


Table 3-2. Mean daily
Hurricane
Charley
8/13/04-8/15/04


Frances
9/4/04-9/6/04

Ivan
9/19/04-9/21/04


salinity (ppt) two weeks before and four weeks after the 2004 hurricanes.


Timeframe
pre-storm
post-storm*


Dates
7/30/04-8/12/04
8/16/04-9/12/04
8/14/04-8/24/04
8/16/04-9/3/04
8/21/04-9/3/04
9/7/04-10/4/04
9/7/04-9/18/04
9/5/04-9/18/04
9/22/04-1 0/19/04
9/22/04-9/24/04
9/11/04-9/24/04
9/2 8/04-1 0/2 5/04


Mean
12.2
1.9
0.1
1.4
1.8
0.8
0.1
1.6
2.6
0.4
4.4
0.6


Range
13.1
20
0.1
5.5
5.5
8.8
0.02
20
8.9
0.4
34
5.3


post-storm before Frances
pre-storm
post-storm*
post-storm before Ivan
pre-storm*
post-storm*
post-storm before Jeanne
pre- storm*
post-storm
ith one or more storms


Jeanne
9/25/04-9/27/04
*timeframe overlaps w










Table 3-3. Summary statistics (based on daily averages) describing the distribution of salinity
(ppt), daily rainfall totals (mm), wind speed (m/s), and water depth (m) for the 2003-
2004 time series. Summer includes June to September, while winter describes


November through February.


Statistics are also compared between the summers of


2003 and 2004.
Parameter Season
salinity summer 03+04
winter 03+04
summer 03
summer 04
rainfall summer 03+04
winter 03+04
summer 03
summer 04
wind speed summer 03+04
winter 03+04
summer 03
summer 04
depth summer 03+04
winter 03+04
summer 03
summer 04


Mean
10.9
13.3
12.3
9.3
5.7
2.0
4.0
7.1
2.3
2.4
1.9
2.7
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.4


Median
13.0
14.4
14.8
6.3
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.3
1.8
2.1
1.8
1.8
1.3
1.3
1.3
1.3


Std. Dev.
8.2
6.2
7.3
8.9
15.7
6.8
7.9
19.9
1.7
1.3
0.6
2.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2


CV
76
46
59
96
276
332
196
281
74
54
31
83
13
12
12
14


Range
25.6
23.7
21.8
25.6
173.2
61.0
39.9
173.2
13.4
9.1
3.6
13.2
1.1
1.0
0.8
0.9


Min.
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
1.0
0.8
1.0
1.2
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.2


Max.
25.7
23.8
21.8
25.7
173.2
61.0
39.9
173.2
14.4
9.9
4.6
14.4
2.1
2.0
1.8
2.1










Table 3-4. Spearman's p (N = 24) between mean monthly rainfall totals and salinity, and SRP,
TSP, TP, NO2+3, N4, TSN, TN, chlorophyll a, turbidity, color, and TSS (*significant
values at the 95% confidence level).
Rainfall Salinity
p (rho) p-value p p-value


Salinity -0.36 0.0848
SRP 0.15 0.4812 0.37 0.0760
TSP 0.50 0.0136* -0.038 0.8591
TP 0.32 0.1318 0.23 0.2695
NO2+3 0.11 0.5933 -0.43 0.0383*
NH4 0.42 0.0412* 0.019 0.9293
TSN 0.60 0.0019* -0.53 0.0078*
TN 0.72 <0.0001* -0.47 0.0196*
Chl a -0.056 0.7962 0.59 0.0023*
Turb 0.51 0.0102* -0.13 0.5490
Color 0.39 0.0568* -0.88 <0.0001*
TSS -0.003 0.9887 0.37 0.0773












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Figure 3-2. Short-term meteorological effects of Hurricane Charley, 13-15 August, 2004. A)
Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.






























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Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.


















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Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.










































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Wind Speed. B) Wind Direction. C) Total Precipitation. D) Depth. E) Salinity.









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Figure 3-6. Wind direction in relationship to orientation of Pellicer Creek.







































Figure 3-7. 2004 hurricane tracks. A) Charley. B) Frances. C) Ivan. D) Jeanne (Wikipedia
2006).


Charley


Frances


Ivan Jeanne


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Figure 3-8. Mean daily salinity (ppt) at the Pellicer Creek water quality station two weeks before
Hurricane Charley and four weeks after Hurricane Jeanne.





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Figure 3-9. Summer salinity (June-September) collected at 0.5 hour intervals from the Pellicer
Creek water quality station. A) 2003. B) 2004.


-~rr~TT~































N~ N






W 20--15--10--5 Y 10--15--20 E W (40-30 10-20-30-40 E2





20 \ ~\ 40

S S D


Figure 3-10. Wind direction histograms. A) Summer 2003 and summer 2004 combined.
B) Summer 2003. C) Summer 2004. D) Winter 2003-2004.











12

10

8

6

4
2


12
10

8 E
6

4

2

0


800
700



400 ,
300
200
100 -







35
30


20
S215
a 10








1.60
1.40
1.20
d 1.00
I 0.80 m1 /
z 0.60 m
0.40
0.20 I
0.00 -aH l a H l I .1


12

10

8 E
6

4
2

0


Figure 3-11. 2003-2004 mean monthly rainfall (represented by gray bars), collected from the
Pellicer Creek weather station, plotted relative to maximum (top) and minimum
(bottom) monthly nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton biomass, and water clarity
parameters. A) Color. B) Salinity. C) TN. D) TP. E) chlorophyll a. F) NH4. G) NO2+3.
H) SRP. I) POC. J) turbidity.












12

10

8 E
E
6


12

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4
2


0.20
0.18
0.16
..0.14
0.12 a
E 0.10








30 0
.25
20 0



15
10
25



E 2






0.50
0.45
0.40
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ib 0.30
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0.00






Figure 3-11. Continued.


12

10

8 E

6

4 '

2

0











0.25


10
8
6


4 '


0.20

S0.15






0.10

0.09



0.08


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p .I .. I 9


12
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6
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2003-2004 Monthly Max and Min POC and Mean Rainfall


8.0

7 .0

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3.0
0 .0






Figure 3-11. Continued.


12
10,
8
6
4











35 12
301 10
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8 E
20
," 6
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J1





Figure 3-11. Continued.









CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION

The number of hurricanes striking the southeastern coast of the United States was

abnormally high in 2004 and 2005 (Bossak 2004). The frequency of "straight-moving" storms

emanating from western Africa has been rising (Bossak 2004), thus the southeastern United

States has experienced unusually heavy rainfall (Elsner 2003). Since the current trend of intense

hurricane activity is predicted to continue for the next 5 to 35 years (Goldenberg, Landsea,

Mestas-Nufiez, and Gray 2001), associated impacts on Florida ecosystems may be accentuated

and prolonged.

The results of these time intensive observations of water quality and meteorological

conditions in the Pellicer Creek ecosystem provide insight into the impacts of multiple storm

events on environmental variability. In general, the four tropical systems of 2004 suppressed

tidal salinity variations. Although strong northeasterly winds associated with hurricane events

initially promoted salinity spikes (Figure 3-2), high rainfall levels over the course of the event

ultimately had the opposite effect, causing strong declines in salinity for extended periods

(Figure 3-5). The severe drops in salinity associated with the four hurricanes are comparable to

the findings of Sanger et al. (2002) and Wenner et al. (2004) for National Estuarine Research

Rerserve (NERR) sites on the east coast of the United States. They found that storms that

approached the east coast generally caused short-term increases in salinity due to storm surge

and longer-term salinity decreases resulting from excess rainfall. Tropical systems moving up

the coast were associated with down-estuary winds and precipitation that caused reduced

salinity.

The hurricane effects described in this study were generally not outside the two-year

variability range. However, temporal salinity patterns were different in 2004 than 2003. Graphs









of daily averages put storms in perspective relative to the background variability of the two-year

time series (Figure 4-1). Typical Florida summer thunderstorms produce about 5-15 minutes of

heavy rain and little wind (Chen and Gerber 1990), while the 2004 hurricanes caused more

intense rainfall, sometimes of much longer duration (e.g., during Frances). Strong winds that

accompanied tropical storms may have been responsible for increasing variation in salinity

(Figure 4-1). This was unanticipated since fresh water influx was expected to keep salinities

low. In this sense, effects of wind and rainfall associated with hurricanes can have somewhat

independent impacts that act on separate timeframes.

Sampling Scale and Ecosystem Variability

Capturing small temporal variability in environmental factors is often essential in

understanding driving forces behind processes occurring at short timescales. Collection of

continuous data at Pellicer Creek provided invaluable evidence of hurricane effects. Data

collected at half-hour increments were examined to distinguish effects of different storm tracks,

intensities, and durations.

Hurricane Charley tracked closest to Pellicer Creek, but passed to the southeast. Only a

small salinity spike was observed (Figure 3-2a). Both Frances and Jeanne tracked from the south

and west of Pellicer Creek, meaning that the station was subj ected to the most intense

northeastern quadrants of the storms. The largest salinity spikes resulted from those two storms,

with Hurricane Frances having had the greatest impact on water quality of Pellicer Creek.

Besides producing the most wind and rain, the one-day shift in salinity from 5-6 September

(-19.3 ppt) was the greatest of the entire time series. After Frances, conditions remained nearly

fresh for two weeks. It is unknown how long those conditions would have lasted because Ivan's

impacts eventually masked them. Ivan and Jeanne delivered less rain than the first two









hurricanes, but possibly because the ground was saturated by then, they had the same freshening

effects as the first two storms (see Valiela et al. 1996, 1998).

Comparison of pre- versus post-storm salinities is limited for the storms due to their

proximity. Salinity magnitude and variance did decline as expected immediately after the

storms. Seasonally, however, salinity variance was higher during summer 2004 than summer

2003. This is attributed to the sharp salinity spikes and frequency of hurricanes. Unlike Wenner

et al. (2004) and Orlando et al. (1994), mean salinity during 2003-2004 was lower in summer

than in winter. This anomaly is attributed to seasonal effects of multiple hurricanes.

Potential Biological Community Impacts

Assessing storm effects is an important for understanding ecological processes shaping

coastal ecosystems. Hurricanes can change plant and animal community structure because

organisms can have difficulty adjusting to the associated extreme changes in the environment.

Montague and Ley (1993) found that stations in Florida Bay with large salinity fluctuations had

relatively low biomass and unstable species composition. After Cape Fear, North Carolina was

hit by six hurricanes in four years, Mallin et al. (1999) saw benthic infauna at one station shift

from marine to fresh water species dominated.

Timing of nutrient release may also play an important role in the community structure for

Pellicer Creek and the Guana Tolomato Matanzas NERR since Pellicer Creek may be a source of

nitrogen for the estuary. Negative correlations between salinity and both TN and color match

conclusions of Miller (2004) for water quality in northeast Florida. Miller hypothesized that

Pellicer Creek was a source of nitrogen to nearby intracoastal estuaries. Significant positive

correlations between rainfall and a number of water quality constituents, including NH4, TSN,

TN, TSP, and turbidity, support this hypothesis and indicate that hurricanes increase nutrient

load to nearby estuaries. Therefore, consideration of potential storm frequency is important in










assessing nutrient budgets and anthropogenic impacts (Kennish 2004). The positive correlation

between salinity and chlorophyll a may indicate that the estuary is a source of phytoplankton to

Pellicer Creek.

Long-term Consequences

In a 2006 Estuaries and Coa~sts Special Issue addressing hurricane effects, most authors

found impacts to be relatively short-lived (several weeks to months). The findings of this study

agree with this relative to water quality. However, since none of the storms were hurricane

strength as they passed Pellicer Creek, impacts were not as severe and potentially did not last as

long as they could have if a storm hit the area directly. Additive effects of four hurricanes in one

season, however, may have ecological implications (Tomasko et al. in press). For example,

Valiela et al. (1996) noted the potential importance of hurricane frequency for nitrogen retention.

The timing of hurricane season has important ecological implications (Michener et al.

1997). Typically, the ground is not saturated in early fall and soils are dry enough to absorb

initial rain events and recharge wetlands. However, excessive rainfall can alter the magnitude of

river discharge, thereby changing seasonal variability in salinity and nutrient loads.

Studies of hurricane effects are important, not only in the face of potential increases in

storm frequency, but also because the resulting freshwater inflow may mimic the impacts of

climate change. Since long-term increases in freshwater run-off affect estuarine community

structure (Hayward, Grenfell, Sabaa, Morley, and Horrocks 2006), greenhouse gases, increasing

sea surface temperatures, and rising sea levels are expected to directly and indirectly impact

intertidal wetlands and nearshore aquatic environments (Michener et al. 1997, Gibson and Najjar

2000). Ever-increasing development creates more impervious surfaces and alters hydrology

(Lerberg, Holland, and Sanger 2000, Wenner et al. 2004). Impacts from climate and

anthropogenic influences may last longer than those from hurricanes. Studying hurricane effects










can give an idea what might happen to systems given increases in freshwater due to climate

change. Hurricanes cannot be managed, but their impacts do need to be integrated into

management plans (Morrison et al. in press, Paerl et al. in press).













































~t~L


25

c~20








0


O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O
0 0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 000


-180
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160
E
1 140
.2 120
S100
S80
P,60
S40
20


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00 00 00 0 0


0 0


0 0


0 00
00 0


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1.7



10.

0.9

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O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O O
0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0













-14


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a.








000000000000000000000000
000000000000000000000000




D


Figure 4-1. Mean daily averages (2003-2004). A) Salinity. B) Total Precipitation. C) Water
Depth. D) Wind Speed.









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Nicole Dix grew up in Longwood, FL, and graduated from Lake Mary High School. She

is a biologist with particular interests in estuarine ecology. She graduated from Florida State

University in December of 2002 with a B.S. in biology and a B.S. in science education. After

graduating, Nicole worked in Orlando, FL, for Glatting Jackson in the environmental consulting

department. Her responsibilities included performing endangered species surveys, writing

permitting reports, delineating and monitoring wetlands, and conducting a vegetative biomass

study along the Kissimmee River. Nicole started her master' s work at the University of Florida

in the fall of 2004 under the supervision of Dr. Edward Phlips. She was involved in a coastal

impact study of the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm, general chemical analyses and processing of

water samples in the lab, and monthly water quality monitoring in the estuarine environments

near St. Augustine, FL. Nicole obtained her M.S. in fisheries and aquatic sciences in the fall of

2006, and received a three-year Ph.D. fellowship from the National Estuarine Research Reserve

program to continue her research and education.