Hydrologic, ecological and social modeling synthesizes and integrates
the data gathered by each of the FCE Working Groups to predict the
effects of human-controlled water flow (volume, timing, and spatial
distribution) on ecosystem
attributes, such as water flows, nutrient
availability, primary productivity
and soil dynamics. There are a number of models that we use to aid in
this analysis, ranging from conceptual models of linkages among
socio-ecological properties (e.g. CHM), to numerical simulation models
that provide mechanistic extrapolations of our understanding of complex
system dynamics across the region over multiple decades (e.g. ELM).
Fundamentally, the models are important tools we use to further
explore the central hypotheses of FCE II.
How do these factors affect people in south Florida?
Social and economic activities in south Florida can be profoundly
impacted by freshwater availability, flooding, sea level rise, and
climatic disturbances such as hurricanes. Water management
decisions are influenced by the hydrologic needs of the Everglades
and the water demands associated with consumptive use, flood
control, and economic development. These four elements can conflict
with one another, creating spatial and temporal "trade-offs" that
often appease one component of the landscape at the expense of
another. The FCE models and synthesis approaches are designed to
incorporate synergistic feedbacks and indirect effects that are not
obvious or are poorly understood to better quantify the impacts
associated with these trade-offs, and in the long-term, prevent
management decisions that have irrevocable consequences on the
ecosystem services provided by the Greater Everglades.
Comprehensive Heuristic Model (CHM)