florida everglades sunset

Sunset over the Everglades mangrove ecosystem (photo credit: David Ho, University of Hawaiʻi’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

The National Science Foundation awarded $5 million to David Ho, oceanography professor in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and his collaborators, as a part of NSF’s Water, Sustainability and Climate Program. The five-year project will explore the hydrologic, ecologic and economic impacts of management strategies designed to increase the resilience of the Florida Everglades ecosystem to climate variability, climate change and sea level rise.

“My role in this project is to study the effect of changing freshwater supply, due to management decisions and climate change, on carbon cycling in the mangrove ecosystem of the Everglades,” said Ho.

The carbon cycle is inextricably linked to climate change. By providing a better understanding of factors controlling carbon cycling in the largest mangrove ecosystem in North America, Ho hopes to contribute to determining the role of mangroves in the global carbon cycle.

“With this project, I also aim to determine how ecosystem services provided by the mangroves might change with water management practices and climate change,” Ho said.

“This research will help south Florida to understand the economic and ecological values of its water resources, and use this information to shed light on the trade-offs that decision makers will be faced with in the next century,” said project leader Mike Sukop, associate professor at Florida International University.

Adapted from a UH Mānoa news release