Title: Myakka
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089449/00007
 Material Information
Title: Myakka
Series Title: Myakka
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Department of Soil and Water Science. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida.
Publisher: Department of Soil and Water Science. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. University of Florida.
Publication Date: Fall 2002
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089449
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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A Soil and Water Science Department Publication

Volume 2 Number 3 Institute of Foodand Agricultural Sciences Fall 2

SWSD Thrust Area:

Wetlands and
Aquatic Systems

Area 2A

Graduate student sampling in

Pam Marlin
Darryl Palmer
Dr. Vimala Nair
Dr. John White

Visit the SWS websites:

one-third of the
land area in the
State of Florida is
in wetlands and
aquatic systems.
The water quality
Th of these
ecosystems is a
major concern, as
the demand from urban and agricultural land
uses increase. In this newsletter we showcase
the Soil and Water Science Departments
research and educational programs in
Wetlands and Aquatic Systems. Emphasis in
this thrust area includes: biogeochemistry,
ecology, hydrology, hydric soils, ecological
indicators, treatment wetlands, restoration of
shallow lakes, and water quality.

The interdisciplinary nature of this program
provides faculty and students an ability to
conduct basic and applied research at multiple
(molecular to landscape) scales in order to solve
environmental problems and protect and manage
wetlands and aquatic resources. Some
examples of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems
where research was conducted by our faculty in
the past or currently being conducted include: the
Everglades, Okeechobee Drainage Basin, Lower
St. Johns River Basin, Upper St. Johns River
Basin, Lake Apopka, Lake Okeechobee,
Kissimmee River chain of lakes, Indian River
Lagoon estuary, and several constructed
wetlands throughout the State of Florida.
Graduate students in this thrust area work closely
with several UF departments and centers, and
with scientists at state agencies including the five
Water Management Districts. A few examples of
research projects are highlighted in this

Here are some highlights of the Fall 2002
semester activities of our faculty, staff, and
* 3rd Annual Soil and Water Science
Research Forum was held on September 5,
2002. Graduate students presented 10 oral
and 40 poster presentations. Several funding

agency representatives participated in
the forum.

* Randy Brown, Professor of Soil and
Water Science, joined the phased retirement
program effective January, 2003. Randy plans
to work half-time during the next three years
through his involvement in teaching programs.

* Our graduate program is growing strong.
During Fall 2002, 12 students joined the
department, bringing the total graduate
student enrollment in the department to 78,
including 6 graduate students in the distance
education graduate track in Environmental

* Special thanks to Mrs. Mabel Robertson
for her generous donation in support of the
Robertson Scholarship, awarded annually to
outstanding undergraduate or graduate
students in Soil and Water Science.

* Thanks to David Calvert, Nick Comerford,
Willie Harris, Yuncong Li, L.T. Ou, Curt
Pennell, Arnold Schumann, Dilip Shinde,
George Snyder, and Suresh Rao for their
generous contributions in support of Arthur G.
Hornsby Extension Professorship Fund.

The need for soil and water science discipline
is at an all time high, as society places greater
demand on protecting our soil and water
resources. This places a major responsibility
on us to meet society expectations in times of
severe budget cuts and faculty reductions.
So far our faculty, staff, and students have
responded to this need by forming
interdisciplinary teams with other scientists
and generating grant funds to support their
programs. It is critical that the core strength
of the department be maintained to effectively
serve our clientele. We are hopeful that some
of our faculty lines will be restored in the near

Dr. K. Ram e Reddy Chir Soil and Water ienc DeBartmB1r
32611. Telepone: 352-392-803ig, Fax: 352-3923399. E-mi~l: krrulneduht:/sisfsufMd



Fall 2002

Har'..ey. On-ir M S Adusor R D Rhuie
Malecki Lynette Fh D 4di sor J R *Jhite
Mclee Kathleen M S 4dtisor S
rJehls Teresa PhD 4dtsor P rlkedi-lizza
Paris Jeremy M S .4d isor M VV Clark
Sabesan. Aarthy. M S di sor S GrLin aid
Shen Zhimin PhD 4dtiso' S Grnin.,.ald
Sili.'a Maria PhD. 4C1usor L Q Ma
VVang ing. PhD. 4-1isor i Li
*^Jheeler evI/n PhD 4d iisofs "v Ogram
and Y R ReddR
,oon Joon. M S 4t1uor L Q Ma

Bruce Kimberly M S 4d1i sor D Graetz
Penton Christopher M S 4dtisor V R

Lane Colin M S 4diiso' G A Connor
Malecki Lynette M S \4dcsor J R ~^Jhite
Ramakrishnan Vijayalakshnii M S 4d0ii~or
A v Ogram
Sco. MayLlum M S 4clsor Y R Reddy
Skulnick Ben M S 4di sor WN F DeBusk
Sharma Kanika PhD d\ csor v Ogram

Philip Darling
Mary Hau"ck

Robert Paul *Jashington

Upcoming Summer Short Courses:

Ecosystems of South Florida: The SWSD is offering an intensive 2-week 3- credit
hour course on South Florida Ecosystems in June of this year. The classroom section
will be offered June 2-7, 2003 and the field portion of the course will take place June
16-20, 2003. The objectives of the course are to familiarize students with the complex
mosaics of ecosystems in south Florida, expose students to real-world science and
policy issues, and provide an understanding of the many governmental entities and
special interests related to south Florida's fragile aquatic and wetland ecosystems.
Details about the course can be found at http://earthproject.ifas.ufl.edu/ For additional
information contact John White: jrwhite@ufl.edu
Hydric Soils: This exclusive training program focuses on the interrelations of
hydrology and hydric soils and how to distinguish hydric soils from nonhydric soils. The
course provides 35 hours of training and instruction, and a Certificate of Completion will
be provided upon conclusion of the program. Two sessions scheduled: May 5-9, 2003
and June 23-27, 2003 For additional information visit the web site at: http://conference.
ifas.ufl.edu/soils/index2.html, or contact Wade Hurt: wade_hurt@ifas.ufl.edu
GIS Applications in Soil and Water Science: This exclusive training program
focuses on how to make use of readily available geo-data layers of soils, geology, land
use, topography and many more features. You will learn where to find free GIS data
on the world wide web, how to import data into a GIS, and how to analyze and
interpret spatial data. Session schedule: August 12-13, 2003. For additional
information visit the web site at: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/soils/index2.html, or
contact Sabine Grunwald: sgrunwald@ifas.ufl.edu
Biogeochemistry of Wetlands: Science and Applications: This short course
provides training to professionals on basic concepts involved in biogeochemical
cycling of nutrients and other contaminants in wetlands, as related to soil, water, and
air quality. Each course topic involves basic concepts and its application and
usefulness in addressing environmental ecological significance to wetland restoration,
water quality, and other ecological functions. Session schedule: October 13-15, 2003.
For additional information visit the web site at: http://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/soils/
index2.html, or contact Ramesh Reddy: krr@ufl.edu.

Distance Education Graduate Program:

The Distance Education Graduate Program is gaining momentum. We now have
seven graduate students enrolled in the M. S program via distance education. The
goal of this program is to provide opportunity for faculty at Research and Education
Centers around the state to mentor graduate students. Details about the program can
be obtained from Sabine Grunwald, Distance Education Coordinator,
sgrunwald@ifas.ufl.edu or http://disteduc_sws. ifas.ufl.edu/

Wetland Biogeochemistry Laboratory
; The mission of the Wetland Biogeochemistry Laboratory (WBL) is to
promote excellence in teaching, research and extension/outreach activities
on biogeochemical cycles in wetlands and aquatic ecosystems, with the
primary goal of transferring basic research to solve practical problems, and
to integrate process level information into policy development and regulation.
The WBL also promotes the linkages necessary for cross-
ecosystem comparisons as related to water and air (greenhouse gases)
quality issues. The WBL was established in 1987 within the SWSD. Since its establishment, the
WBL has provided a home for graduate students from various disciplines, post doctoral
associates, and visiting scientists, and generated over $15 million dollars in grants and contracts.
Specific examples of teaching, research, and extension activities of the WBL can be seen at our
web site: http://wetlands.ifas.ufl.edu/.

Graduate student, Todd Osborne, The WBL activities include: (i) determining strategic research areas of special importance to
sampling in the Everglades wetlands and aquatic ecosystems; (ii) identifying extramural funding sources for interdisciplinary
research; (iii) promoting educational activities such as offering interdisciplinary courses and organizing seminars, symposia, short
courses, and workshops; (iv) expanding multi-institutional collaboration and maximizing utilization of available institutional
resources to promote interdisciplinary activities; (v) developing working relationships with state agencies such as the water
management districts and (vi) developing a link between the University of Florida and private industry, and other commodity groups
and addressing their needs. The WBL works closely with the Center for Natural Resources and the Howard T-Odum Center for


VVetland soils and lake sediments can ser.e as sinks sources and transformers of nutrients and other chemical contaminants and as
such they can ha -e a significant impact on water quality and ecosystem product ity The primary dri .er of these processes is the
ecosystem biogeochemistry ..,hich includes chemical biological and physical processes in the sedimentlsoil and after r column Long-
term goals of this thrust area are to 11 e .aluate biogeochemical indicators for routine use to e .aluate pollutant impacts in wetlandss and
aquatic systems. 12) de..elop tools to e-trapolate process-le..el to a ,..ide range of spatial and temporal scales for use in restoration and
management of ...etlands and aquatic systems I31 de.'elop a GIS database of soil and sediment characterization in Florida wetlandss and
associated aquatic ecosystems. 14) pro..ide process-le..el information for use in policy de elopment and regulation and 15) promote
interdisciplinary teaching research and edlension programs including ecology limnology and hydrology Here are some examples of
research projects

Biogeochemical Indicators

Stressors at Varied Spatial
and Temporal Scales
Nutrients Hydrology Fire

Soil-Water Column

Biogeochemical Biogeochemicall
Process Indicator


Linkages between microbial diversity and
processes in wetlands

Biogeochemical parameters can be used
as indices to characterize the ecological
condition of wetlands and aquatic
systems. Biogeochemical processes in the
soil and water column are key drivers of
several ecosystems functions associated
with wetland values (e.g. water quality
improvement through denitrification and
long-term nutrient storage in the organic
matter). Process level measurements
provide a direct measure of the functionality
of a wetland and potential impairment due
to impacts; however, these measurements
are often tedious and costly. Instead, it is
possible to develop a relative measure of
process rates and potential by evaluating
components of biogeochemical cycles that
are either end products or sources of
material for a given process. In the case of
many processes within the nutrient cycles,
microbial communities mediate the rate and
extent of these reactions in soil and water
column. As a result, biogeochemical

indicators associated with these
processes often respond rapidly to
perturbations and are spatially
restricted to the impact zone, yet will
persist over moderate time scales
and in the absence of standing

At present, researchers at the
WBL are in the process of evaluating
various indicators that can potentially
be used to evaluate impacts or
recovery of an ecosystem.
Research is currently funded by the
National Science Foundation, and
the South Florida Water
Management District. Investigators
on these projects are: Andy Ogram,
Sue Newman, Ken Portier, and
Ramesh Reddy. For additional
information, contact Ramesh Reddy:

National Wet lands F[ox[geoeIiii [ atabat s and Survey of Southeastern
Welad Wate Qult

In 1999, the USEPA established a new
initiative whereby numeric water quality
criteria would be developed by water
body type and regional area. The four
water body types include lakes and
reservoirs, rivers and streams,
estuaries, and wetlands. Establishment
of numeric nutrient criteria would
provide states with antidegradation
benchmarks by which water resources
could be monitored and preserved.
Establishing numeric criteria requires
clear cause-and-effect relationships
between contaminants and loss of
designated use, or the decision to base
criteria on least impacted or "reference"
conditions that are presumed protective
of the water bodies' designated use.
For wetlands, specific cause-and-
response relationships have not been
well established, specific designated
use of these systems is often unclear,
and indicators of degradation that can
be used to identify impending impacts
have not been clearly defined.

At present two USEPA-funded projects are
underway at the Wetland Biogeochemical
Laboratory to assist EPA, states and tribal
governments in developing numeric criteria
for wetlands and to select cross-community
water quality indicators. The first project,
initiated in September 2000, created a
National Wetland Biogeochemical Database
(NWBD) compiling existing literature on
biogeochemical data of the nation's natural
wetlands from 1975 to present. This
database presently has 1350 wetlands and
65,000+ data points. It is hoped that this
database will become publicly accessible in
the near future, although the specific user
interface has not yet been decided by EPA.

The second project is in response to limited
spatial data identified within the NWBD and
the lack of consistency (and therefore
comparability) between data reported in the
literature. Because of this shortcoming, a
survey of water quality indicators within
wetlands of the southeastern United States
will be conducted. This survey will

evaluate twenty different indicators of
wetland quality including plant, litter,
soil, and water column nutrient
parameters. Two hundred and twenty
wetlands will be surveyed among
forested, herbaceous, riparian and
non- riparian communities. Wetlands
will also be divided between least
impacted watersheds within nine
National Forest and adjacent
watersheds with likely elevated nutrient
condition. A comparison between
parameters at impacted and
unimpacted sites will provide an
indication of parameters sensitive to
nutrient change. Data will also be used
to determine the variability in nutrient
conditions under least impacted and
impacted sites, among regional areas,
among vegetative community types
and among hydrologic connectivity.
Investigators on these projects are:
Mark Clark, Ramesh Reddy and Ken
Portier. For further information contact
Mark Clark: clarkmw@ifas.ufl.edu.

Soil Accretion and Development of the Everglades Landscape Mosaic

Aerial photograph of intact ridge and slough
landscape in central Water Conservation Area

A three-year study is underway in the
Florida Everglades to investigate soil
accretion processes and their influence on
the spatial vegetative mosaic of Shark
River Slough. Although often referred to
as the "River of Grass", the central
Everglades might better be described as
ribbons of sawgrass interspersed with
deeper-water habitat dominated by
waterlillies, maidencane, eleocharis, and
periphyton. Historically this landscape
pattern had a prominent orientation
parallel to the direction of flow. This

pattern is still prevalent in many areas;
however, the "Ridge and Slough"
landscape has shown signs of decline in
linearity, senescence of ridge vegetation and
encroachment of ridge and wet prairies
species into the deeper water sloughs.

As part of the monumental effort to restore
the Everglades, maintaining the Ridge
Slough landscape is critical not only to the
representation of pre-disturbance conditions,
but also to many species including fish,
waterfowl, and alligators that utilize the
deeper water slough community and benefit
from the tremendous edge effect provided by
the interface between ridge and slough
areas. Because the vegetative community of
the Everglades is intimately linked to soil
elevation and hydrology, understanding
processes related to soil accretion are critical
to short- and long- term restoration efforts.

To determine soil accretion rates the study
will develop a carbon budget for ridge and
slough communities at four sites within the
Everglades, within the Water Conservation
Area 3A and within the Everglades National
Park south of Tamiami trail. At these sites
organic matter production and decomposition
rates are currently being evaluated.

- 'p15.

Graduate Student Chris Lewis prepares
samples after being dropped off by helicopter
within Everglades National Park.

In addition, soil horizons are charac-
terized for plant fragment analysis, and
carbon isotopic fractionation will be
used to determine historic plant
communities that have been buried
over time. This project is funded by the
Department of Interior- National Park
Service. Investigators on these
projects are: Mark Clark, Ramesh
Reddy, and Willie Harris. For
additional information contact Mark
Clark: clarkmw@ ifas.ufl.edu.

I Intrna Nurin Lodfo0h t on ie

Graduate student, Lynette
Malecki and Dr. John White
collecting intact sediment cores
from the Lower St. Johns River.

Eutrophication of Florida's lakes,
rivers, and estuaries is a result of
decades of agricultural, industrial, and
urban nutrient loading. This results in
a variety of ecological responses such
as algal blooms, decreased dissolved
oxygen levels and fish kills due to the
low oxygen levels in the water. The
1972 Clean Water Act required states
to identify impaired water bodies and
establish total maximum daily loads
(TMDLs). The St. Johns River Water
Management District is mandated to
set TMDLs for nutrients in the Lower
St. Johns River (LSJR).

Release of nutrients from the sediment
such as phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) must be considered an
important contribution to the total nutrient load to the river. The objective
of this study was to calculate the annual internal loading of nutrients from
the sediment to the water column using a series of field and laboratory
experiments. The average annual internal load of P was determined to
be 405 MT yr1, one fourth of the total P load to the LSJR. The average
annual internal load of N was determined to be 2,555 MT yr', one third
of the total N load to the LSJR.

Results from this study suggest the contribution of internal loading
(nutrients from the sediment) will likely decrease as external loading
(nutrients from agricultural and urban runoff, industrial and domestic
wastewater discharge, etc.) is decreased overtime, resulting in fewer
anaerobic events, thereby improving the water quality of the LSJR. This
project is funded by the St. Johns River Water Management District. For
additional information contact John White: jrwhite@ufl.edu.

Vegetation Modification and Soil
Management for the City of Orlando's
Treatment Wetland

For o..er 15 years the :ity of
: ,rlando s Eastervly Vetland
(C'.EWI has successfully
pro ided final polishing of
Domestic effluent from the
Iron Bridge treatment plant
prior to discharging into
surface waters s The CEW is
1,200 acres and came online
in 19c iUF has completed a
re.vie, of the system historical
2 .performance and has found
that se eral components of
3au le snuden cotrute i tnon the _-etland should be
coecln GC S modified to maintain
exemplary performance during the coming decade These
modifications include 1 changes to the outflo.., region
egetation 2. management of accrued soils

Sears of operation ha e led to acclumulations of organic souls
throughout the system This accumulation reduces etland
volume and can contribute P to the 'later column through re-
mineralization Graduate student Sue Simon is in esting
organic soil removal drydo.,n and reflooding and chemical
amendments including alum and calcium carbonate on .3ater
column P le els Preliminar' results suggest that alum
treatments are effect -*e at completely stopping P flu, from
the soil For additional Information contact John VVhite
jr',.hite@uifl edu


Potential Impacts of Sediment Dredging on
Internal Phosphorus Load in Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee, a large (1730 km2)
shallow (average depth 2.7 m) lake in
south Florida, has become more
eutrophic due to excessive external
phosphorus (P) loads. The eutrophication
of this lake has resulted in many changes
over the past three decades that include:
more than a doubling of total phosphorus
(TP) in the water column, an increasing
frequency of algal blooms, and an
increasing abundance of nitrogen fixing
cyanobacteria. There is a concern that
the accumulation of mud sediments has
continued over the past decade both in
thickness and extent, and that it may be
impacting water quality in certain lake
regions. We conducted a study to
determine the potential impacts that
partial or complete dredging of mud
sediments will have on mobility of P to
and from the sediments.

Funding Agencies for Research in
Wetlands and Aquatic Systems

CHM Hill
City of Orlando
DB En ironmental Labs
Florida Department of Agriculture and
Consumer Ser..'ces
Florida Department of En ironmental
Limno Tech Inc
rational Science Foundation
Orange County Florida
St Johns Ri er VVater Management
South Florida VVater Management District
South 'Vest Florida Water Management
U S Department of '"gnculture
U S Department of Defense
Ui S Department of Interior
U S En.ironmental Protection i"genci

All laboratory experiments suggest that
dredging the surface 30 to 45 cm sediments
can have a positive effect in improving water
quality. It should be recognized that
laboratory studies consider only diffusive flux
from sediment to overlying water column and
does not include repeated sediment
resuspension events and inputs of organic
material at the sediment-water interface.
Dredging removes a substantial amount of P
stored in sediments. Removal of top 30 cm
sediment accounts for approximately 65% of
TP storage. Implementation of P reduction
goals such as dredging may have significant
costs and economic impacts. Thus,
management focus should be on reduction of
external loads, which will ultimately have a
positive effect in reducing the internal load.
To determine the regulators of internal loading,
it is critical that we have a thorough
understanding of the dynamics of physical,
chemical, and biological processes at
sediment-water interface regulating the
internal load within the lake. The key questions
often asked are: (i) will Lake Okeechobee
respond to P load reduction? (ii) if so, how
long will it take for the lake to recover and
reach its background condition? and (iii) are
there any economically feasible management
options to hasten the recovery process? The
internal load can extend the time required for
the lake to reach its original condition. This
lag time for recovery should be considered in
developing management strategies for the
lake. Decisions regarding management and
restoration of lakes are often difficult and
controversial as they involve regulating P
loads from both internal and external sources.
For additional information contact Ramesh
Reddy: krr@ufl.edu

Long-term Nutrient Loading
Effects on Soil Phosphorus
Enrichment in the Everglades
Water Conservation Area -2A

depth in years 1990 (J ,left) and 1998 (right)-
depth in years 1990 (left) and 1998 (right)

Florida's Wetland
WebGIS and Geo-

Thousands of soil samples ha,.e
been collected in Florida s ...etlands
by staff and scientists of the VVetland
Biogeochemistry Laboratory iWBL).
UF To preser e standardize and
centralize these datasets of soil
physical chemical and biological
properties a seed project funded by
the Center for rlatural Resources
v.as facilitated to de elop a ,.eb-
based interactive information and
visua11zation system

The SVVS-GIS Research Laboratory
standardized and integrated 21 30
geo-referenced point obser nations of
7. different soil physical chemical.
and biological attributes collected in
Florida s ..etlands from 1-',8 to the
present These datasets pro.. ide a
valuablee resource documenting
historic and present en -ironmental
quality in Florida s wetlandss VVe
created a WebGIS tool using
arciMS soft..are IESRI Inc
Redlands CA) to augment point
obser alions 'ith spatial data layers
such as soils geology land use
and county boundaries pro hiding
users ..,ith query selection and
na igation functions A graphical
interface ...as developed using
V.BScript to pro..ide data ser -ices to
users which h can run SQL-based
queries select and retrieve specific
data records using one or all of the
follo...ing constraints il geographic
location. iii projection. (iii time
period I i depth of soil sample I
..egetation type and i.. i soil

Our datasets can be used to
document the evolution of soil
quality in Florida s wetlandss
including the ongoing restoration
efforts in the E erglades ecosystem
Results from a geostatistical
analysis conducted in the Water
Conser. action Area 2 illustrate the
usefulness of the geo-database to
assess the spatial arabilityty and
distribution of soil quality indicators
The global interacti..e learning
en ironment for Florida s --etlands is
accessible at http //GISWetlands
ifas ufl edu For additional
information contact Sabine
Grun ald sgrun ald@.1ifas ufl edu


Phosphorus Retention and
Storage by Isolated and
Constructed Wetlands
in the Lake Okeechobee Basin

In the C',keechobee Basin phosphorus IPI
discharged from variouss land use acti..ties
can be potentially assimilated in farm
ditches isolated ..,.etlands and riparian
buffers Small isolated wetlands are a
common feature throughout the basin and
may pro..ide a significant storage and
retention capacity for P runoff within n the
landscape Historically many of these
wetlands s ...ere truly isolated and only linked
during periods of high .ater Lnder
present conditions most of these wetlands
ha e been connected and partially drained
through a netw..ork of ditches and canals
that con.'ev surface waterr from the
watershedd to Lake OCkeechobee Isolated
wetlands s co er appro imately 1 7',.. of the
landscape and understanding their role in P
storage is critical to long-term efforts to
reduce P loading to Lake Ok.eechobee
Isolated wetlandss are dominant features on
land areas used for cow.-calf operation
In addition constructed wetlands at arious1
scales can be used to treat either on-farm
discharges or basin- 'ide runoff

South of Lake C'k.eechobee large-scale
regional wetlandss are being deployed for
remo.'ing P from agricultural sugarcane
and vegetable e runoff The successful
deployment of treatment ...etlands in the
'atersheds north of the lake 'till how..e er.
be somewhat more challenging because
concentrations of P and other constituents
Nitrogen, o-ygen demanding substances
in dairy runoff can be quite high In this
region. 'wetlands used for both regional
Ireser oir storm...ater treatment areas
[RST.s]) and on-farm P control therefore
..il require designs that ma imize real P'
remo.. al rates in order to maintain realistic
,etland footprints At present a multi-year
research and education effort is under.v,av
to demonstrate and optimize P remo .al
capacity of on-farm treatment _.etlands and
P retention capacity isolated wetlandss

This interdisciplinary project is conducted
by faculty from se eral LUF departments
including agricultural and Biological
Engineering. En..ironmental Engineering
Sciences Soil and Vater Science and [DB
En ironmental Labs This project is funded
by the Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Ser..ices. the Florida
Department of En ironmental Protection
and the South Florida Water Management
District For additional information contact
Ramesh Reddy, krr@ufl edui

Wetland Research at McArthur Agro-Ecology Center


The biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus
(P) within wetlands may have a significant
influence on the fate of P in the landscape.
Several studies are ongoing to ascertain
how depressional wetlands may influence
loss or retention of P in pasture systems in
Buck Island Ranch at the MacArthur Agro-
Ecology Research Center, a 4,170 ha
working cattle ranch within the Lake
Okeechobee watershed in south Florida.
Investigators involved with the soils
component of these studies are Donald
Graetz (SWS, UF/IFAS) and Patrick Bohlen
(Archbold Foundation) along with Research
Scientist, Stanley Gathumbi, and graduate
students LaKeisha Hill and Carla Sperry.

Experimental pastures in the improved
and semi-native pastures, 20 and 32 ha,
respectively, were stocked at four animal
densities (0, 0.46, 0.62, 1.08 cow/calf pairs
per hectare). The soils of Buck Island

Ranch are Alfisols (uplands) and
Histosols (wetlands). The objective of
Carla's study was to examine the
influence of cattle grazing density on the
amount and forms of phosphorus in
soils of imbedded wetlands in the
pastures. Depressional wetlands
ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 ha were sampled
within each grazing density treatment.
Soils were sampled at four depths
(detritus, 0-15, 15-30, and 30-45 cm).
LaKeisha's research quantified the
amount and forms of phosphorus
present in the soil profile to a depth of 1
meter. Soil samples were collected by
horizon from the center of a wetland and
an adjacent upland in the control and
high stocking density pastures.
Increased cattle grazing density had no
effect, for either study, on the various
phosphorus parameters measured due
to the relatively short time (2 years) of
the studies. Effects of cattle grazing
density are likely to be observed over a
longer time period. Wetlands
embedded within the rangelands appear
to be accumulating P compared to the
uplands. A major portion of the P in
these soil profiles is present as organic
P which may be subject to
mineralization and possible loss in
drainage waters.

For additional information contact Don
Graetz: dag@ifas.ufl.edu

The purpose of this research project is to
develop sensitive, reliable, rapid, and
inexpensive indicators of ecological integrity for
use in large-scale ecosystem management and
restoration. For this work, we have focused on
developing indicators of wetland eutrophication,
a phenomenon that is presently threatening
regionally significant wetlands in the
southeastern United States. This study is
being conducted in the Blue Cypress Marsh
located in the Upper St. Johns River Basin.
Joe Prenger (far right) and graduate The multivariate statistical analysis results
students in the Blue Cypress Marsh indicate that soil biogeochemical measurements
can be used to discriminate between low impact
and high impact regions, and to discriminate vegetation type (which itself can be used
as a measure of ecosystem disturbance). The establishment of discriminant functions
for these groups makes it possible to assign new samples to membership in these
groups. Additionally, geostatistical analyses can extend such information over space.
Key indicators identified include: nutrient content, soil oxygen demand, enzymes,
microbial activity, and microbial diversity. Results obtained from this study can be used
to identify nutrient impact as well as the recovery after the nutrient loads are curtailed.
This project is funded by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the St. Johns
River Water Management District. This interdisciplinary project is conducted by faculty
from UF departments including; Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Soil and
Water Science, and the St. Johns River Water Management District. For additional
information, contact Joe Prenger: jprenger@ufl.edu


Wetlands, Watersheds and Water Quality
Wetlands are an integral part of watersheds and play a critical role in regulating
water quality. Increasing pressures from agriculture and urban development on
water quality of wetlands and associated watersheds is of major concern. This
growing concern and the need to protect the state's water resources have
heightened the need for public awareness and the application of innovative methods
S to address this issue, a perfect (though complex) opportunity for Extension. The
SWSD Extension program uses a four-pronged approach to address critical water
'Iforn a3l quality issues in wetlands and associated watersheds.

1) Increase public awareness of wetland resources in the state and the role
wetlands play in affecting water quality in watersheds. Although the majority of
Floridians or visitors do not directly utilize or recreate in wetlands, the quality of
water at the beach, lake and river can be influenced by adjacent wetlands.
6 Increasing the awareness of the water-quality-related benefits and many other
attributes of wetlands will increase the desire to maintain this critical part of the
2) Integrate new wetlands and enhance the function of existing wetlands in agricultural and developing landscapes to improve water
quality. Many technological advances and the implementation of Best Management Practices can reduce sources of anthropogenic
pollutants; however, once these contaminants are in stormwater it becomes less technologically feasible and cost prohibitive to
remove them. Integrating wetlands into urban and agricultural landscapes to improve water quality is a more passive process and
may be the most cost effective alternative for pollutant load reduction.

3) Emphasize the need to address water quality issues at the
watershed scale. Degraded water quality in wetlands, rivers, lakes
and oceans are symptoms of a problem upstream. Most
contaminants are applied to terrestrial landscapes and find their way
into water bodies during storm events. Focusing efforts to fix the
problem (in the watershed) and not just the symptom (degraded
water bodies) will go a long way to improve water quality.

4) Link the above efforts to existing and forthcoming Federal and
State regulatory mandates such as Phase II NPDES Stormwater
regulations, TMDLs and minimum flows and levels. These
regulatory mandates have been imposed in an effort to turn around
the long history of declining water quality in the nation.

These tasks seem daunting, yet the science and understanding of
these issues and processes are well founded; it is the application Mark Clark training young scientists on the importance of
and creative implementation of these concepts that will determine wetlands
the fate of our remaining wetlands and the condition of our
water resources. Extension will play a critical part in this process to make sure Florida is a role model and not the undesirable case
study as we all attempt to implement a more sustainable future. For additional information contact Mark Clark: clarkmw@ifas.ufl.edu
or visit the web site: http://wetlandextension.ifas.ufl.edu.

Randall B. Brown
Randy Bro ,,n Professor of Soils and Land Use, and e-tension specialist joined the phased retirement
program effect -e Januaryy 1 2003 after 22 years of distinguished ser.. ice ,ith UIF-IFAS During the
ne,.t three years. Rand), _-ill continue to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Soil VVater and
Land Use, and Soil and Water .Conser action Randy) s retirement lea .es a major .oid in the Soil and
Water Science Department ISVVSD[I tension program on soils and lend use

Randy began his career at the Un ersitv of Florida in iiaugust of 1980 He ser.,ed as an Etension
specialist in soils and land use. ',,ith particular emphasis in his programs on 4-HIFF.A. land judging,
onsite ...aste...ater disposal. soil sur e)y nterpretations. and related areas He served as the UFIIFAS
liaison .. th Soil and ..,ater conser. action districts aroiind the state He also taught a senior-le el course
entitled Soil. Water and Land Use From Januaryy of 1"995 through June of 2000. Randy ser ed as
chair of the SvvSD
Randy recei *ed numerous a'.ards and recognition ..,hile employed ith UIF/IFAS including the Honorary Florida State FFA
Degree from Florida FF" and the E L Greenstein a...ard from the Florida Onsite vvaste.,aater Association He is a Fello.., of the
Soil Science Sociely of Amnerica and the Ametrican Society of Agronomy Randy Bro %,n can be reached at rbb@ifas ufl edu

International Programs

In November 2002, Sabine Grunwald was appointed Secretary of the International Working Group on Pedometrics Provisional
Commission on Pedometrics, International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS). Pedometrics is the application of mathematical and
statistical methods for quantitative modeling of soils and their distribution, properties and behavior. The domain of pedometrics has
changed somewhat since its foundation. At present, pedometrics is best defined as an interdisciplinary field between soil science,
applied statistics/mathematics and geo-information science, i.e., it gathers many different scientific fields ranging from geostatistics,
pedology and various soil science disciplines. Pedometrics integrates a variety of different methods ranging from soil classification
to geostatistical applications with the goal to describe the soil-landscape space-time continuum. Details about pedometrics and soil
landscape modeling can be found at: http://www.itc.nl/personal/hengl/PM/. For additional information, contact Sabine Grunwald:

US/Ireland Exchange Program Phosphorus Retention by Wetlands
The WBL is currently hosting Ed Dunne, graduate student from Ireland, as part of US/Ireland Exchange Program. This program is
jointly funded by US/Ireland Co-operation Program in Agricultural Science and Technology, International Organization Office,
Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, and the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (DARFD), Johnstown
Castle, Co. Wexford, Rep. of Ireland. Collaborators from Ireland included: Dr. Owen T. Carton, Head of Land Use and Environment
Department, Teagasc Research Center, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, Rep. of Ireland. For additional information contact
Ramesh Reddy: krr@ufl.edu.
Study Abroad Program in Brazil Natural Resource Management: From Tropical to Temperate Ecosystems This program is
for undergraduate students of the University of Florida or the University of Georgia-Athens interested in studying in Brazil at the
Federal Universities of Vigosa and Bahia. The objectives of this program are to experience Brazilian culture and make friends for
life, to train students in characteristics and processes of tropical to temperate ecosystems, to help students become bilingual, and to
facilitate all the above with scholarships. Details can be found at the web site: http://usbrazil.ifas.ufl.edu/. For additional information,
contact Nicholas Comerford: nbc@ifas.ufl.edu.


IYanika Sharmra .,,as5 selected as
runner-up of the 2002 rmencan
Chemical Society of Agrocheinicals
Dri sion i oung Scientist s Research
Recognition AS,card This award ,111 be
presented at the mrerican Chemical
Society meetings In I Je.: OCrleans. La
She .,eas also the recipient of the 2002
SWSD wAaard for Ecellence in
Graduate Studies Yanika conducted
her research on bioremediation of sols
contaminated by chromium ith Dr
and,. Ogram as her ad isor

Dawn Lucas, chemist, received the 2002 SWSD Superior
Accomplishment Award.

Travis Hanselman was awarded first place (Soil and
Environmental Quality) in the 2002 Graduate Student Paper
Contest of the Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida.

The following students received scholarships endowed by
our alumni:

Carlisle Scholarship Ravindra Ramnarine

Polston Scholarship Abioye Fayiga

Robertson Scholarship Travis Hanselman

F. B. Smith Scholarship Robert Paul Washington

2002 SWSD Award for the Outstanding Undergraduate Student
was presented to Thomas Rew.

Lnette Malecki has been selected to
recei e 2003, IF S .nard of
E cellence for the Graduate Research-
M S degree Lnette conducted her
research on temporal and spatial
v.ariability of nutrient flu es from
sediment in the lo.,er St Johns RI er
withh Dr John White as her ad isor
Lynette wpas also a..arded an alumni
fellowship to pursue a Ph D i,'ith Dr
VVhite L)nette is the third Soil and
Water Science graduate to recei..e this
a..,ard since 19c98

Lena Ma was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of
Agronomy in 2002.

Art Hornsby was awarded with 2002 Soil Science Professional
Service Award, presented by the Soil Science Society of America.

P. K. Nair was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for
the Advancement for Science

Jerry Sartain was awarded the International Gamma Sigma Delta
Award of Merit. This award will be presented to Jerry on March
20, 2003 at the Gamma Sigma Delta annual initiation and awards

Ramesh Reddy was awarded the 2002 Environmental Quality
Research Award, presented by the American Society of
Agronomy. Reddy was also recognized as a highly cited
researcher in Ecology and Environment by the Institute for
Scientific Information (ISI).

Please sen co m nssugsin to S S Nesetr Bo 1150 Unvriyo loia-ansile.lrd 21

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