Ecosystem Facilitation


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..I.D.E.A.S. Ecosystem Facilitation offers a sustainable solution to maintaining retention ponds. This systems involves strategic plantings of native aquatic flora that will provide a filtration buffer for high nutrient run-off, further decreasing unwanted algal blooms and creating an area of high biodiversity.

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Ecosystem Facilitation

  1. 1. I.D.E.A.S.Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness SolutionsEcosystem Facilitation & Pond Restoration<br />By:<br />Hank Harding<br />Chris Castro<br />Dave Oswald<br />Florida Aquatic Ecology<br />Spring 2010<br />
  2. 2. The Problem:<br /> The current chemical maintenance methods of spraying ‘heavy metals’ for short-term elimination of algae cause by cultural eutrophication.<br />
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  4. 4. Alternatives to Nature<br /><ul><li>Physically removing plants or algae, free of harmful hazardous chemicals.
  5. 5. Chemically maintaining plants or algae, containing hazardous metals that could potentially enter our aquifer.</li></ul>These techniques are costly, both economically and ecologically!<br />
  6. 6. How do these tactics damage our environment?<br />Direct Effects of Chemical Maintenance:<br /><ul><li> Adverse effects to non-target aquatic vegetation
  7. 7. Changes to invertebrate cellular and cuticle structure——interferes with fitness, life history timing, ability to feed, obtain oxygen, or reproduce
  8. 8. Less cover and fewer appropriate nesting sites for aquatic vertebrates and mega-fauna</li></li></ul><li>Indirect Effects:<br />Removal of plant food source, epiphytic algae<br />food source, egg-laying sites, refuge sites, direct<br />and indirect oxygen supply (Invertebrates).<br /> Increase of organic litter shifts<br />invertebrate community towards benthic<br />feeders and their predators (in a large enough system).<br /> Decomposition of dead plant material<br />leads to low oxygen concentrations.<br />
  9. 9. The Result?<br />The lake ecosystem shifts from macrophytic<br />plants to microscopic plants (algae and blue blue-green algae) <br />Thus begins the cycle of<br />unwanted algal blooms aka Cultural Eutrophication.<br />
  10. 10. The Solution! …or what we can do about it!<br /><ul><li>In addition to using the watershed to our advantage, we implemented a sustainable filtration zone, aka Riparian Buffers.
  11. 11. This process slows the velocity of surging water into a retention pond and allows natural filters to absorb algae-producing-nutrients.</li></ul>This is.. I.D.E.A.S. Ecosystem Facilitation!<br />
  12. 12. Torpedo Grass<br />Water Milfoil<br />Aquatic InvasivesStep 1: Environmentally friendly removal<br />
  13. 13. Torpedo Grassecosystem invasive aquatic removal<br />
  14. 14. Aquatic Plant ContinuumStep 2: Plant Native Aquatics<br />
  15. 15. Emergent Native Aquatics<br />Softrush<br />(Juncuseffusus)<br />Horsetail<br />(Equisitum sp.)<br />Stabilize the banks of water sources, preventing soil erosion and topsoil loss.<br />Horsetail can act as an insecticide when used in strong concentrations. Used with nettle, its potential increases, including its use to eliminate fungi<br />Provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. <br />These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). <br />After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called "detritus") for many aquatic invertebrates. <br />Waterfowl, game birds, and song birds will consume seeds of soft rush (and other rushes). <br />
  16. 16. Softrush(Juncuseffusus)<br />Horsetail (Equisitum sp.)<br />
  17. 17. Duck Potato(Sagittarialatifolia) <br /><ul><li>A rhizomatous emergent plant species
  18. 18. Provides cover for water fowl, insects, small mammals
  19. 19. Have root tubers which are eaten by native waterfowl</li></ul> During the growing season notable amounts of nutrients and metals are extracted by Sagittarialatifolia from sediments and water. <br />
  20. 20. Pickerelweed(Pontederiacordata)<br /><ul><li>Seeds can be eaten like nuts and young leaves can be boiled or put in a salad.
  21. 21. Inflorescence flower- provides nectar to bees and butterflies , also attrats dragonflies.
  22. 22. Helps in filtration of polluted water.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li> Potential for removing sediment and turbidity
  23. 23. Potential for removing excess nutrients
  24. 24. Potential for removing toxic metals and</li></ul> toxic organic compounds<br /><ul><li> Habitat for invertebrates</li></ul>Benefits of Natural Shoreline Ecosystem <br />
  25. 25. <ul><li>Habitat for native fish
  26. 26. Habitat for waterfowl
  27. 27. Native plant richness
  28. 28. Shoreline stabilization</li></ul>Benefits of Natural Shoreline Ecosystem Continued…<br />
  29. 29. <ul><li>Base of the aquatic food chain.
  30. 30. Provide critical protein waterfowl need</li></ul> for egg laying and development of young.<br /><ul><li> If invertebrates are unavailable as prey, larger fauna suffer as well</li></ul>Why do we want invert habitats?<br />
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  32. 32. Retention Pond DataFall 2009<br />
  33. 33. Culverts <br /><ul><li>The culvert is the area of water discharge from the roadways and parking lots.
  34. 34. By setting up Riparian Buffers in the littoral area, near culverts, we are able to better filter the incoming water, reducing the abundance of heavy nutrients. </li></li></ul><li>ChinampasStep 3: Build Floating “Filter Islands”<br />
  35. 35. Aztec methods of growing crops without land.<br />Created floating islands over open water as a source to cultivate food and crops.<br />We are experimenting with them as a “filtration system” for retention ponds.<br />Supplies: Bamboo, Hemp rope, Pine Needles, Soil Medium, Aquatic plants<br />Chinampas: History and Use<br />
  36. 36. Algae acts as a natural filter to nutrients from runoff water, as well as chemicals.<br />Our methods involve manually removing the algae and applying it to terrestrial plants and buffer zones for additional nutrients<br />Why Algae?Step 4: Re-use as Terrestrial Fertilizer<br />
  37. 37. Sustainable Application: Algae<br />
  38. 38. The breakdown of Ecosystem Facilitation..<br />When: est.January 2009.<br />Where: The Crest<br />Why: To relieve the issue of algal blooms, without the use of harmful chemicals<br />How: creating a sustainable system of natural riparian buffers<br />
  39. 39. The Crest: Pond 1 & 10February 20, 2010<br />
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  43. 43. Lake I.D.E.A.S. RestorationMarch 20, 2010<br />
  44. 44. -$400 was donated by Sterling Central Apts. & UCF Landscape & Natural Resources.<br />-Over 130 plants we’re purchased and planted in the lake.<br />-Created 3 riparian buffer ecosystems around Lake I.D.E.A.S.<br />
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  46. 46. Lake I.D.E.A.S. Restoration pt.2April 8, 2010<br />
  47. 47. -focused on mechanical maintenance and removal of aquatic invasives. <br />Why?<br />- Opened up the availability from native aquatics to thrive easier, without over competing.<br />
  48. 48. ..2 weeks later<br />
  49. 49. ..So what’s next for Lake I.D.E.A.S.?<br />
  50. 50. For helping I.D.E.A.S. Ecosystem Facilitation!<br />