Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
Canals across south Florida deliver more freshwater to Florida Bay than the estuary historically received.
Question 1 Explanation:
False. Canals divert freshwater away from the historical creeks and sloughs that supplied Florida Bay with freshwater. Levees and roads north of Everglades National Park also inhibit freshwater flow to the southern Everglades.
Historically, the transition between the freshwater Everglades and the marine waters of Florida Bay was gradual and used to cover a very large area.
Question 2 Explanation:
True. Reductions in freshwater flow to Florida Bay have diminished the expanse of this transition zone, and salinities now fluctuate wildly, making it more difficult for submerged aquatic vegetation to flourish.
Submerged aquatic vegetation plays a minimal role in the complex Florida Bay ecosystem.
Question 3 Explanation:
False. Submerged aquatic vegetation sustains the prey base for fish-eating birds, game fish, and reptiles found in and around Florida Bay.
There is a direct correlation between submerged aquatic vegetation and salinity.
Question 4 Explanation:
True. Scientists at Audubon’s Tavernier Science Center have uncovered this relationship by collecting and analyzing data from multiple research sites across the southern Everglades. Lower salinities—or more freshwater conditions—facilitate the growth of vegetation advantageous for the region’s productivity.
Everglades restoration projects will reduce the freshwater flows delivered to Florida Bay.
Question 5 Explanation:
False. The goal of restoration projects is to increase freshwater flows to Florida Bay. Audubon’s Tavernier Science Center will be able to determine changes in the ecosystem resulting from implementation of the projects.
Increasing freshwater flows to Florida Bay will increase the productivity of the ecosystem.
Question 6 Explanation:
True. Greater volumes of freshwater will allow submerged aquatic vegetation to flourish, which in turn will provide food and shelter for the prey species that form the base of the food chain.
There are 6 questions to complete.