Man-made activities can induce climate change and global sea-level rise, posing threats to the survival and growth of coastal vegetation in Florida. This three-page fact sheet explains how to ensure plant survival and facilitate the growth of coastal vegetation threatened by sea-level rise and the resulting oxygen deficiencies and saline stresses. Written by Guodong Liu, Yuncong Li, Kimberly Moore, Kim Gabel, Lei Wu, and Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
Florida’s economically important estuaries could be heavily impacted by sea-level rise and altered river flow, both caused by climate change. The resulting higher salinity, or saltiness of the water, could harm plants and animals, alter fish and bird habitat, and reduce the capacity of estuaries to provide such important services as seafood production and the protection of shorelines from erosion. This 6-page fact sheet explains the importance of estuaries, salinity in estuaries, and provides examples of stress from extreme high salinity. Then it explores the projected change in climate that could affect salinity in estuaries, how plants and animals would be affected, mitigating effects, and other impacts of climate change on estuaries. Written by Karl Havens, and published by the UF Department of Sea Grant, June 2015.
Throughout Florida’s history, humans have altered the coastlines, leading to large-scale degradation of coastal ecosystems. This has led to the loss of associated ecosystem services, including products such as food and timber and processes like coastal protection and disease control. Unfortunately, ecosystem restoration efforts have not always been a priority for coastal management. This 10-page literature review surveys the available ecosystem-service valuation literature for five of Florida’s coastal natural communities–oyster reefs, beach dunes, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and salt marshes–to facilitate the quantification of ecosystem services to provide a better measure of the full impact of restoration efforts. Written by Susanna Blair, Carrie Adams, Tom Ankersen, Maia McGuire, and David Kaplan, and published by the UF Department of Sea Grant, November 2014. (UF/IFAS photo by Tyler Jones)
Sea-level rise may have significant effects on Florida’s coastal ecosystems. These ecosystems are the foundation upon which much of Florida’s natural beauty and economy are based. Understanding what changes may happen in the future can help us plan for those changes and, to the extent possible, lessen the impacts of those changes. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Whitney Gray, and published by the UF Department of Sea Grant, October 2013.
WEC285, a 4-page fact sheet by Holly K. Ober, provides an overview of direct and indirect effects of oil spills on wildlife, factors influencing the degree of impact, susceptibility of various types of wildlife, and the history of oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, May 2010.
ENH1157,a 7-page illustrated fact sheet by Stephen H. Brown and Joy Hazell, describes this pantropic vine found on beaches and dunes throughout peninsular Florida — geographic distribution, ecological function, growth habit, morphology and reproduction, and planting and maintenance guidelines. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Environmental Horticulture, February 2010.