The Florida Reef Tract
The Florida Reef Tract <ul><li>3 rd  largest reef system in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Parallels exposed ancient reef (Th...
Geological History <ul><li>1.8 million years ago to 10,000 years ago </li></ul><ul><li>Pleistocene Ice Ages </li></ul><ul>...
Geology <ul><li>Upper and Middle Keys  - Key Largo Limestone – skeletal remains of corals, invertebrate shells, marine pla...
Geology Key Largo Limestone Miami Oolite
Geology <ul><li>Windley Key Geological Park </li></ul><ul><li>Limestone quarry provided railroad bridge supports for Henry...
Marine Habitats <ul><li>Coral Reefs </li></ul><ul><li>Seagrass Beds </li></ul><ul><li>Mangroves (Mangal) </li></ul><ul><li...
Coral Reef Zonation <ul><li>Light intensity and wavelength </li></ul><ul><li>Wave energy </li></ul><ul><li>Water Temperatu...
Hardbottom <ul><li>Close to shore </li></ul><ul><li>Low species diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Dominated by gorgonians, algae...
Patch Reefs <ul><li>Shallow water </li></ul><ul><li>Nearshore </li></ul><ul><li>Grow upward then expand outward </li></ul>
Bank Reefs <ul><li>Spur & Groove Formation </li></ul><ul><li>High Species Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Coral zonation by de...
Human Impacts on Reefs <ul><li>Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Overfishing </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Aquariu...
Seagrass Beds <ul><li>Stabilize Sediments </li></ul><ul><li>Water Clarity </li></ul><ul><li>Food and Shelter </li></ul>
Human Impact on Seagrass Beds <ul><li>Dredging and Filling </li></ul><ul><li>Propeller Scaring </li></ul><ul><li>Eutrophic...
Mangroves <ul><li>Shoreline Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Nursery </li></ul><ul><li>Threatened and Endangered Species </li>...
Human Impact on Mangroves <ul><li>Dredging </li></ul><ul><li>Water Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Development </li></ul...
Submerged Resources <ul><li>Adolphus Busch Wreck – 210 ft freighter intentionally sunk in 1998 to create an artificial </l...
Looe Key Marine Sanctuary <ul><li>7,000 years of coral growth </li></ul><ul><li>Protected area of high ecological importan...
Looe Key
Looe Key <ul><li>R/V Columbus Iselin – ran aground August 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>Severe scar damage – 6 scars on 4 coral s...
Looe Key Restoration Project <ul><li>Limestone boulders emplaced </li></ul><ul><li>68 Coral colonies transplanted </li></ul>
Terrestrial Habitats <ul><li>Upland forests </li></ul><ul><li>Inland Wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>Shoreline Zones </li></ul>...
Upland Forests <ul><li>Hardwood hammock </li></ul><ul><li>West Indian Origin </li></ul><ul><li>High Productivity </li></ul...
Inland Wetlands <ul><li>Stormwater Storage </li></ul><ul><li>Freshwater Lens </li></ul><ul><li>Rare Plants and Unique Comm...
Invasive Species
Invasive Species Australian Pine Brazilian Pepper Burma Reed
Invasive Species Gambian Pouched Rat
Invasive Species Green Iguana
Invasive Species Burmese Python
Invasive Species Gypsy Chicken
Invasive Species
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Florida Keys

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Florida Keys

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

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