How Else Is South Florida Affected?
In addition to effects of sea level rise in Cape Sable and the saline glades, changes also exist outside of Everglades National Park. Northwest of Everglades National Park in the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, mangroves have expanded and grown inland into what were previously freshwater environments9. And in the southernmost Florida Keys, freshwater pine forests are shrinking and are being replaced by plants that live in saltwater10.
In both cases, plants are responding to the conversion from freshwater to saltwater environments because of sea level rise9,10. These observed changes are important because they show that the consequences of sea level rise are occurring throughout south Florida and may indicate what these coastal habitats will be like in the future. From these changes, already observed, scientists may learn how to best manage our coastal ecosystems over the long term.
Images from Krauss, Ken W., Andrew S. From, Thomas W. Doyle, Terry J. Doyle, and Michael J. Barry 2011. "Sea level rise and landscape change influence mangrove encroachment onto marsh in the Ten Thousand Islands region of Florida, USA." Journal of Coastal Conservation 15:629-638.
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Did You Know?
A pair of endangered wood storks need about 440 pounds of fish during a breeding season to feed themselves and their young. Everglades National Park serves as an important nursery ground for raising their chicks.