3rd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Michael Andreu
Session Name Posters - Understanding Natural, Anthropogenic and Legacy Sources of Nutrients
Category Understanding natural, anthropogenic and legacy sources of nutrients
Poster Number 62
Author(s) Michael Andreu,  University of Florida
  Robert Northrop,  Hillsborough County Extension (Presenting Author)
  Shawn Landry, University of South Florida
  The Ecosystem Services from Forests of the Tampa Bay Watershed Building a Collaborative Research and Extension Program
  The forests the Tampa Bay Watershed (TBW), a coastal subtropical region in Florida, are changing in part due to an expansion of urban areas. These changes are raising concerns about the loss of services derived from the forest. In 2007, we established 500 permanent plots, in a systematic random sample, to begin quantifying the urban and urbanizing forests of the TBW. Using the data from these plots, we are able to describe forest species composition, size class distributions, canopy cover and other commonly calculated forest metrics. In addition to these values, we used the i-Tree Eco model to calculate values for some of the environmental services provided by the forests including: carbon sequestration, energy conservation, and pollution reduction. Since 2010, we established or are in the process of establishing an additional ~300 new permanent plots in the watershed. We are developing tools to link ground based data with satellite imagery to model forest structure and composition at the landscape scale. In 2011, we initiated the process of re-measuring 200 of the original plots that were located within the city of Tampa. This will provide information about 5-year rates of change (biological growth and land use change) so that we can begin to simulate and model the dynamic nature of ecosystem services on a temporal scale. The existence of this robust data set has generated partnerships with research and government institutions interested in a wide range of social and ecological investigations including water quality and quantity concerns. This long-term study is providing empirical data for the development of models that incorporate land use change with the biological functions of the forests in a range of structural conditions. Such models will provide managers and decision makers with tools for the development of sustainable forest management strategies and policies in a rapidly urbanizing region.