This Conceptual Ecological Model, developed by Audubon scientists, links changes in freshwater flow to the Everglades to ecological changes in the transition zone between the freshwater Everglades and Florida Bay. Disruptions in freshwater flows from the River of Grass have resulted in decreased submerged aquatic vegetation production and loss of small prey fishes, which are an important food base for many higher-level predators including game fish, endangered crocodiles, and numerous bird species such as Roseate Spoonbills.
Analyzing the components of the Conceptual Ecological Model for Florida Bay will help Audubon better uncover relationships between freshwater flows and Spoonbill nesting, giving us the information we need to provide feedback on Everglades restoration projects in the planning or implementation stages. Explore the boxes of the ecological model and discover the relationships between them. Can you determine why a rainstorm in February may impact nesting Roseate Spoonbills? Or how salinity influences the abundance of fish available to predators?