Recent and Long-Term Organic Soil Accretion and Nutrient Accumulation in the Everglades
- C. B. Craft and
- C. J. Richardson
Organic soil accretion and nutrient accumulation were measured in the northern, central, and southern Everglades to evaluate the effects of anthropogenic nutrient and hydroperiod alterations on organic C and nutrient storage during the past century. Six soil cores (euic, hyperthermic Typic Medisaprists) were collected from nutrient-enriched (Water Conservation Area [WCA] 2A) and unenriched locations. Soil depth increments were analyzed for radionuclides (137Cs, 210Pb, 14C), bulk density, and nutrients (C, N, P, S) to estimate recent (30-yr) and long-term (100-yr) organic soil accretion and nutrient accumulation. Since WCA 2A was completely impounded in the early 1960s, organic soil accretion in northern WCA 2A (5.8–6.7 mm yr−1) increased by three to five times compared with before 1960 (1.9 mm yr−1) or with unenriched areas within and outside of WCA 2A (1.4–1.6 mm yr−1). Nutrient accumulation in the enriched area of WCA 2A since 1960 was two (184–223 g C m−2 yr−1, 13.6–16.6 g N m−2 yr−1) to eight (0.40–0.46 g P m−2 yr−1) times higher than before 1960 (110 g C m−2 yr−1, 6.6 g N m−2 yr−1, 0.06 g P m−2 yr−1) or in unenriched areas (65–90 g C m−2 yr−1, 4.7–6.4 g N m−2 yr−1, 0.06 g P m−2 yr−1). Unenriched areas of the Everglades possess some of the lowest rates of P accumulation of peatlands in North America. Successful restoration of the Everglades will have to include the elimination of anthropogenic nutrient loadings to limit the P enrichment zone from expanding into existing unenriched interior areas and areas downstream of WCA 2A.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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