5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Shannon McMorrow
Session Name Springs III - Chemical Processes and Nutrient Fluxes
Author(s) Shannon McMorrow,  Amec Foster Wheeler (Presenting Author)
  Mary  Szafraniec,  Amec Foster Wheeler
  Sky Notestein, Southwest Florida Water Management District
  Sean King, Southwest Florida Water Management District
  Characterizing Spatial Variability and Ecological Interactions of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Communities in their Associated Habitats and Across Salinity Gradients in Florida Springs
  Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. (Amec Foster Wheeler) assisted the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) with characterizing the spatial variability of benthic macroinvertebrate community abundance and distribution within the Homosassa, Chassahowitzka, and Weeki Wachee Springs and Rivers in Florida. The overall objective of the project was to assess the benthic communities across salinity gradients and across habitat types in various areas within the mainstem of the rivers along with head spring areas, spring runs, and tributaries associated with the main rivers. Primary habitats within the various zones included submerged aquatic vegetation, macroalgae, snags, rocks and sediment. In addition to biological monitoring, physicochemical data was collected and relationships between biological and physicochemical data were evaluated across zones within and across each system. Primary objectives included developing empirical relationships that can be used to assess current ecological conditions and to compare to historical and future conditions in these spring influenced coastal ecosystems.