Hydrology: How It Directly and Indirectly Controls the Distribution and Characteristics of Southwest Florida Plant Communities - A CREW Strolling Science Seminar
Facilitator: Mike Duever, Natural Systems, LLC - Ecologist
Walk one or more transects from upland forests through a marsh and into a cypress forest. If water is still present at this time of year, we could see how water depths vary from one habitat to another. We will look at the soils along the transect(s) and discuss how those are influenced by hydrology and how they in turn influence plant communities. We will also look for signs of fire along the transect(s) and discuss the relationships between hydrology, fire, and plant community structure and composition.
This seminar will help you understand how hydrology varies seasonally, annually, and over the long term in southwest Florida, and the major climatic and hydrologic processes that control these variations. We will examine how these processes influence soil characteristics, fire regimes, and ultimately how these all interact to create and maintain the natural plant communities in southwest Florida, and discuss how humans alter these interactions.
Mike Duever received his B.S. in Zoology from the University of Illinois and his M.S. in Zoology and Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia. His professional activities before and during his college career primarily involved studies of the ecology of reptiles and amphibians and of stream and lake fish.
Since graduating he has focused largely on wetland ecology and natural area restoration and management. He worked for the National Audubon Society for 20 years, when he was based at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. During these years he spent much of his time working to understand how natural ecological processes and human activities influence the distribution and characteristics of natural areas in South Florida, including Corkscrew Swamp and Big Cypress National Preserve, the Loxahatchee and Myakka River floodplains and numerous other sites. He also conducted long term ecological studies on the Okefenokee Swamp, coastal Louisiana marshes, a hurricane-impacted old-growth floodplain forest in South Carolina, and the Platte River in Nebraska and Wyoming, as well as on numerous other smaller projects around the country.
From 1994 to 2000, Mike worked for the Nature Conservancy on the Disney Wilderness Preserve, a large wetland mitigation project in central Florida, where he was involved in restoration of drained wetlands and cattle pastures. He was also responsible for ecological research projects and restoration monitoring on the site.
Mike was a senior environmental scientist with the South Florida Water Management District in southwest Florida from 2000 to 2011. He was the District’s southwest Florida ecologist in their and Corps of Engineer’s efforts to restore the Greater Everglades ecosystem, including the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP) and the Southwest Florida Feasibility Study. Since retiring in 2011, Mike has continued to oversee the environmental restoration components of the PSRP under a contract with the District.
What to wear/bring: Be prepared to walk into up to 2 ft of water if it’s a wet winter. Wear comfortable outdoor walking clothes and closed-toed shoes. Bring water to drink, sunscreen, hat, (camera optional).
This is part of the CREW Strolling Science Seminar series, a series of six scholarly walking seminars designed specifically for adults to gain in-depth knowledge about wildlife and the watershed.
The CREW Strolling Science Seminars are supported in part by a Public Outreach Grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP). The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program is a partnership to protect estuaries in southwest Florida from Venice to Estero Bay.
Is there an age limit for the event?
This event is for adults only.
What are the parking/facilities like at the trails?
There is a grassy parking lot at the trailhead. There is one portable restroom at the trailhead.
What are the trails like?
The trails are mostly grassy/sandy ground level trails with some boardwalk sructures over wet areas. Expect seasonlly wet/muddy places on the trails during the rainy season (July - November).
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
Yes. You may give your spot to someone else. Be sure to change the information on your registration page or call us at 239-657-2253.
Can I update my registration information?
Yes, you may update your registration information up to 24 hours before the event.
Do I have to bring a printed ticket to the event?
No. We do not issue print tickets. Simply check in with the event leader at the time of the event.
When & Where
CREW Land & Water Trust
The CREW Land & Water Trust was established in 1989 as a nonprofit organization to coordinate the land acquisition, land management, and public use of the 60,000-acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. We work closely with our partners, the South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to ensure the protection of the watershed. This watershed, the largest intact watershed in south Florida, straddles Lee and Collier Counties and provides aquifer recharge, natural flood protection, water purification, preservation of wildlife habitat, and public recreation. CREW's majestic 5,000-acre marsh is the headwaters for the entire watershed.