State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2008FL215B
Title: Addition of Ecological Algorithms into the RSM Model
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: 3
Focus Categories: Hydrology, Ecology, Models
Keywords: TaRSE, Cattail, simulation, model, RSM
Principal Investigators: Kiker, Gregory Alan; Graham, Wendy D ; Munoz-Carpena, Rafael (University of Florida)
Federal Funds: $ 6,667
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 16,666
Abstract: Alterations to the natural delivery of water and nutrients into the Everglades of the southern Florida peninsula have been occurring for nearly a century and have significantly impacted the hydrological and ecological functioning. The highly connected nature of groundwater and surface water systems over large spatial areas has necessitated the development of integrated regional modeling approaches to adequately represent the unique hydrological and ecological conditions of southern Florida. The Regional Simulation Model (RSM) was developed to provide an integrated surface and subsurface hydrological model for the development and exploration of water management and habitat restoration objectives (SFWMD, 2005). One of the primary challenges in developing RSM and its concomitant implementation within southern Florida (SFRSM) is to provide a flexible and adaptable framework for new code additions and expanded functionality while maintaining stable simulations for management analysis. Recent RSM code addition projects have successfully added generic water quality components into the model structure (RSM-WQ: Jawitz et al., 2006). Given the initial success of the RSM-WQ module additions, interest has been growing to utilize elements of this approach to add ecological algorithms with a similar methodology. Ecological components and their representation within modeling platforms present a significant challenge as a variety of algorithm designs exist ranging from simplified Habitat Suitability Indices (USFWS, 1981; Tarboton et al., 2004) to Spatially Explicit Species Index (SESI) and individual models (DeAngelis et al., 1998; Curnutt et al., 2000) to more complex, high resolution, individual-based models (Goodwin et al., 2006).

An initial cattail model was developed and linked with the TaRSE/RSM system and subsequently compared with vegetation data for Water Conservation Area (WCA) 2A for the years 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2004. The model was calibrated over the years 1991-1995, and validated for the years 1995-1999. This was done by initializing the model with the map from the earlier years (1991 and 1995, respectively), and comparing model results with the map from the later years (1995 and 1999, respectively). The RMSE was similar for both the 1991-1995 and the 1995-1999 simulations, which suggests consistency in the model even with significant simulation divergence. Additional models are now under construction for expanded development and validation using Global Sensitivity Analysis methods.

Progress/Completion Report, 2008, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF
Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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