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Florida Keys

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Transcript

  • 1. The Florida Reef Tract
  • 2. The Florida Reef Tract
    • 3 rd largest reef system in the world
    • Parallels exposed ancient reef (The Florida Keys)
    • Extends 356km from Miami to Dry Tortugas
    • 6,000 species of plants and animals in waters of FL Keys
    • Approx. 1700 islands
    • Between 24 & 24 degrees N. Latitude
  • 3. Geological History
    • 1.8 million years ago to 10,000 years ago
    • Pleistocene Ice Ages
    • Large sea level fluctuation
    • Reef establishment along FL Platform – subtropical, warm, nutrient-rich waters
    • Dead corals provided good foundation for new coral growth
    • Key Largo Limestone 75-200 ft thick
    • Last major sea level drop exposed FL Keys
  • 4. Geology
    • Upper and Middle Keys - Key Largo Limestone – skeletal remains of corals, invertebrate shells, marine plant and algal debris, and lime-sand
    • Lower Keys – Miami Oolite – well sorted ooids, with other skeletal material and some quartz sand
    • Paleo tidal bars – sandy and oolite shoal traversed by many channels
  • 5. Geology Key Largo Limestone Miami Oolite
  • 6. Geology
    • Windley Key Geological Park
    • Limestone quarry provided railroad bridge supports for Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad
    • Decorative Keystone quarried until 1960’s
    Limestone cutter
  • 7. Marine Habitats
    • Coral Reefs
    • Seagrass Beds
    • Mangroves (Mangal)
    • Submerged Resources
  • 8. Coral Reef Zonation
    • Light intensity and wavelength
    • Wave energy
    • Water Temperature
  • 9. Hardbottom
    • Close to shore
    • Low species diversity
    • Dominated by gorgonians, algae, sponges
    Gorgonian courtesy Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • 10. Patch Reefs
    • Shallow water
    • Nearshore
    • Grow upward then expand outward
  • 11. Bank Reefs
    • Spur & Groove Formation
    • High Species Diversity
    • Coral zonation by depth
    • Presence of Elkhorn Coral
  • 12. Human Impacts on Reefs
    • Pollution
    • Overfishing
    • Tourism
    • Aquarium/Souvenir Trade
    • Global Climate Change – Coral Bleaching
    • Introduced Species
  • 13. Seagrass Beds
    • Stabilize Sediments
    • Water Clarity
    • Food and Shelter
  • 14. Human Impact on Seagrass Beds
    • Dredging and Filling
    • Propeller Scaring
    • Eutrophication – high nutrients, low oxygen
  • 15. Mangroves
    • Shoreline Protection
    • Nursery
    • Threatened and Endangered Species
  • 16. Human Impact on Mangroves
    • Dredging
    • Water Pollution
    • Urban Development
    Oil surrounding mangroves Urban encroachment
  • 17. Submerged Resources
    • Adolphus Busch Wreck – 210 ft freighter intentionally sunk in 1998 to create an artificial
  • 18. Looe Key Marine Sanctuary
    • 7,000 years of coral growth
    • Protected area of high ecological importance
    • Pristine example of Patch and Bank Reef in Lower Keys
    • Many endangered species
  • 19. Looe Key
  • 20. Looe Key
    • R/V Columbus Iselin – ran aground August 1994
    • Severe scar damage – 6 scars on 4 coral spurs
    • $4 mil. Natural resource damage claim
    • Restoration project implemented to physically rebuild reef
  • 21. Looe Key Restoration Project
    • Limestone boulders emplaced
    • 68 Coral colonies transplanted
  • 22. Terrestrial Habitats
    • Upland forests
    • Inland Wetlands
    • Shoreline Zones
    • Soils can range from sand to marl to rich, decomposed leaf litter
  • 23. Upland Forests
    • Hardwood hammock
    • West Indian Origin
    • High Productivity
    • Shallow Soil
  • 24. Inland Wetlands
    • Stormwater Storage
    • Freshwater Lens
    • Rare Plants and Unique Communities
  • 25. Invasive Species
  • 26. Invasive Species Australian Pine Brazilian Pepper Burma Reed
  • 27. Invasive Species Gambian Pouched Rat
  • 28. Invasive Species Green Iguana
  • 29. Invasive Species Burmese Python
  • 30. Invasive Species Gypsy Chicken
  • 31. Invasive Species