Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UM-led research team contributes to the management of South Florida coastal environments

21.07.2014

Collaborative research team publishes findings in special issue of Ecological Indicators

A Florida-based marine research team has developed a unique formal process and modeling framework to help manage South Florida's economically important coastal marine environments. The MARES project (Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting), led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) based at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, successfully integrated both ecosystem science and societal benefits into a marine ecosystem support tool to help improve decision-making by natural resource managers.


This is a map of the South Florida coastal ecosystem studied during the MARES project.

Credit: Pamela Fletcher, Florida Sea Grant

The research team published their findings in 15 research papers in a special issue of the journal of Ecological Indicators - Volume 44, entitled: "Tools to support ecosystem based management of South Florida's coastal resources." The results have been incorporated into the revised Guidance Document for the National Marine Sanctuaries' Condition Reports and are being used by the Our Florida Reefs community working groups, the National Parks Service, NOAA's Integrated Ecosystem Assessment efforts, and in undergraduate courses at Florida universities and colleges.

"One of the important aspects of this new suite of tools, which includes conceptual info-graphics, integrated ecosystem models and both human and ecological indicators, is that it's exportable technology," said Peter Ortner, UM Rosenstiel Research Professor and Director of CIMAS. "It can be applied directly to the management of other coastal ecosystems."

A MARES program for coastal North Carolina is under consideration and a full-day workshop on MARES will be held at next December's "Linking Science, Practice and Decision Making" conference in Washington, DC. The NOAA/Climate Program Office has recently announced an award to CIMAS applying the MARES framework entitled "Developing decision support tools for understanding, communicating, and adapting to the impacts of climate on the sustainability of coastal ecosystem services."

South Florida has one of the most diverse ocean and coastal ecosystems in the United States, and is economically important to the local and state economy for tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, SCUBA diving, and other ocean-related jobs. The South Florida marine environment has degraded over the last century due to upstream and local human activity and coastal development. Sea-level rise and climate change are additional stressors that will put the long-term health of South Florida's valuable coastal resources at further risk over the coming century.

The study team, which included over 50 researchers from academia, state and federal government, was comprised of ecological scientists as well as "human dimension" scientists, such as economists, sociologists, and cultural anthropologists to evaluate the societal aspects of ecosystem management and protection. The coastal region studied included the waters from Martin County south to the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, the Southwest marine environment in the Gulf of Mexico from Lee County south to Florida Bay.

"Our large, collaborative team developed a conceptual modeling framework that explicitly focuses on the benefits humans receive from the ecosystem," said Ortner. "The framework includes ecological indicators as well as human dimensions indicators to assess the level of services human society is receiving and wishes to continue to receive from the ecosystem, such as recreational opportunity and economic gain."

The new conceptual framework allows natural resource managers to track how the ecological and human requirements are being satisfied and provides a flexible highly adaptive approach that allows for pubic involvement in the decision-making process. The MARES process is designed to reach a science-based consensus on the defining characteristics and fundamental regulatory processes of a coastal marine ecosystem that are both sustainable and capable of providing the diverse ecosystem services upon which our society depends. MARES was funded by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

###

About the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School The University of Miami is one of the largest private research institutions in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit http://www.rsmas.miami.edu

Diana Udel | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: Atmospheric CIMAS Miami NOAA ecological ecosystem environments natural resources

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Managing an endangered river across the US-Mexico border
18.07.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The European pet trade is jeopardising the survival of rare reptile species
13.07.2016 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms

Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.

Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...

Im Focus: Continental tug-of-war - until the rope snaps

Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases

Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...

Im Focus: A Peek into the “Birthing Room” of Ribosomes

Scaffolding and specialised workers help with the delivery – Heidelberg biochemists gain new insights into biogenesis

A type of scaffolding on which specialised workers ply their trade helps in the manufacturing process of the two subunits from which the ribosome – the protein...

Im Focus: New protocol enables analysis of metabolic products from fixed tissues

Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a new mass spectrometry imaging method which, for the first time, makes it possible to analyze hundreds of metabolites in fixed tissue samples. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Protocols, explain the new access to metabolic information, which will offer previously unexploited potential for tissue-based research and molecular diagnostics.

In biomedical research, working with tissue samples is indispensable because it permits insights into the biological reality of patients, for example, in...

Im Focus: Computer Simulation Renders Transient Chemical Structures Visible

Chemists at the University of Basel have succeeded in using computer simulations to elucidate transient structures in proteins. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers set out how computer simulations of details at the atomic level can be used to understand proteins’ modes of action.

Using computational chemistry, it is possible to characterize the motion of individual atoms of a molecule. Today, the latest simulation techniques allow...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

GROWING IN CITIES - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Gardening

15.07.2016 | Event News

SIGGRAPH2016 Computer Graphics Interactive Techniques, 24-28 July, Anaheim, California

15.07.2016 | Event News

Partner countries of FAIR accelerator meet in Darmstadt and approve developments

11.07.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Hey robot, shimmy like a centipede

22.07.2016 | Information Technology

New record in materials research: 1 terapascals in a laboratory

22.07.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

University of Graz researchers challenge 140-year-old paradigm of lichen symbiosis

22.07.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>