Simplistic thinking would have us believe that by eliminating the loading of a given pollutant, an aquatic system will revert to its previous pristine state. This premise is without scientific verification. Besides the fact that typically very little documentation exists defining what exactly that previous pristine state was, it should be noted that biological processes are non-linear. They reflect adaptations by populations and corresponding responses of trophic organization that are not predictable by linear models of recovery.
Restoration of Aquatic Systems makes a clear delineation between genuine restoration and public perception of restoration efforts. Written by Robert Livingston, one of the foremost international authorities on ecosystem studies of freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments, this work is the final volume of a trilogy derived from 70 field-years of data garnered from 10 different coastal systems on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The text provides a synthetic look at the restoration of aquatic systems, emphasizing the functional basis that supports such activities, followed by a review of the evidence of recovery.
Livingston considers numerous cases of scientific restoration; however, while the first two volumes could be considered pure science, this volume brings into play the impact of political as well as economic interests and where appropriate, media leverage. This work is thus concerned with just how effective the restoration process becomes as a product of a complex mixture of competing interests.
From this effort, an interdisciplinary comparative database has been created that is currently being published in a series of books and peer-reviewed scientific journals. This work is used to evaluate system-level processes that determine the effects of nutrient loading and nutrient dynamics on phytoplankton/benthic macrophyte productivity and associated food web responses.
Table of Contents
The Restoration Paradigm: Definitions. Ecosystem Research and Restoration. Human Impacts on Aquatic Systems. The Paradox of Actual Risks and Public Concerns. Factors for Successful Restoration.
NORTH FLORIDA AS A MICROCOSM OF THE RESTORATION PARADIGM CULTURAL EUTROPHICATION OF NORTH FLORIDA LAKES
Background of Solution (Sinkhole) Lakes: Urban Runoff and Solution Lakes. Lake Ecology Program. Urban Runoff and Lake Jackson - Background, Long-Term Cycles of Rainfall and Storm Water Runoff, Water Quality Changes, Sediment Changes. Submerged Aquatic Vegetation. Blue-Green Algae Blooms. Biological Response to Bloom-- Infaunal Macroinvertebrates, Fishes (Diseases, Distribution, Trophic Response to Algal Blooms, Long-Term Trends of Largemouth Bass Size). Lake Jackson Restoration Efforts. Urban Runoff and North Florida Lakes --Lake Hall, Lake Lafayette Basin, Lake Munson. Holding Pond Ecology. Press Coverage and Public Response. The Failure of Restoration.
Industrial Pollution -- Pulp Mills: Study Area. River Flows, Nutrient Loading, and Water Quality Changes. Biological Responses in Freshwater Receiving Areas. Mill Effects on Freshwater Biota: Fenholloway River (Periphyton, Hester-Dendy Macroinvertebrates, Suction Dredge Macroinvertebrates, Fishes, Phytoplankton).
Pulp Mill Effluents and Apalachee Bay: Study Area. Impact Analyses. Water Quality -- Rainfall and River Flow, Temperature and Salinity, Dissolved Oxygen, Watercolor and Light Transmission. Sediment Quality -- Toxic Agents, Nutrients. Nutrients: Loading, Limitation, and Concentration . Phytoplankton and Zooplankton --Introduction, Chlorophyll a Trends, Phytoplankton Distribution (1992-'93), Color Removal and Bloom Generation, Comparison of Perdido Bay and Apalachee Bay, Zooplankton Distribution. Submerged Aquatic Vegetation -- SAV Distribution in Space and Time. Invertebrates. Fishes. Summary of Findings -- Water Quality, Chlorophyll a, Phytoplankton, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation , Invertebrates , Fishes. Press Coverage, Public Response, and Failure of the Restoration Process.
Nutrient Loading and the Perdido System: Phytoplankton Blooms in Coastal Systems. Research in the Perdido River-Bay System. History of Results -- River Flow Trends, Nutrient Loading, Nutrient Concentrations and Ratios, Phytoplankton Trends: Bloom Distribution, Response to Nutrient Restoration Program, Bay Impacts, Non-point Nutrient Sources: Agricultural and Urban Runoff, Statistical Analyses of the Long-Term Data. The Press and the Perdido System -- The Dioxin Issue, Cumulative Impacts of Development on Perdido, The News Media and Perdido Bay.
The Pensacola Bay System: Background. Purpose of Study. Summary of Results. Contamination of the Pensacola System -- Upper Escambia Bay, Lower Escambia Bay. The Press and the Pensacola Bay System.
Sulfite Pulp Mill Restoration: Introduction. Study Area . Methods and Materials. Results -- Water Quality Data, Light Transmission, Phytoplankton and Zooplankton, Multivariate Statistical Analyses (Laboratory Microcosms and Field Mesocosms). Discussion and Conclusions. Restoration Program -- Physical-Chemical Conditions, Light Trends, Phytoplankton Analyses, Zooplankton Analyses, Multivariate Statistical Analyses. Discussion of the Amelia Program.
Research, News Reports, and Restoration Success
MAJOR RESTORATION PROGRAMS
The Chesapeake Bay System: A Declining Resource. Research Results -- Hypoxia, Phytoplankton,Toxic Substances and Over-fishing. The Chesapeake Restoration Program. Reality Sets In: The Rainfall of 2003.
Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Florida Everglades-Florida Bay-Coral Reef System: The System. Background -- Kissimmee River-Lake Okeechobee, Florida Everglades, Florida Bay, Florida Keys, Coral Reefs. Water Quality in the Florida Everglades System -- Mercury, Nutrients, Relationships of Nutrient Loading and Water Quality. Recent Evaluations of the Everglades Ecosystem. Management and Restoration. The News Media and Public Involvement.
RESTORATION OF TOXIC WASTE SITES
Mercury and Dioxin in Aquatic Systems: Mercury in the Aquatic Environment. Penobscot River-Bay System in Maine -- Background, Mercury in the Penobscot River-Bay System, The Wetlands Hypothesis, Proposed Restoration of the Penobscot System, Legal Solution to the Penobscot Mercury Problem. Mercury in the South River-South Fork Shenandoah River -- Background, Mercury in the South River-South Fork System, Ongoing Studies, Resolution. Dioxin in the Aquatic Environment -- Background of Dioxin in the Newark Bay Complex, Dioxin in Fish and Invertebrate Tissues, Newark Bay Ecology: Fate, Effects, and Restoration, Legal Action and Regulatory Response. Regulatory Requirements and the Restoration Process. Press Response to Toxic Substances.
ALTERNATIVES: PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
The Apalachicola System: Background. Apalachicola River Flows -- Apalachicola Floodplain. Linkage between the Apalachicola River and the Bay. Freshwater Flows and Bay Productivity. Planning and Management of the Apalachicola Bay System -- Wetlands Purchases, Local, State, and Federal Cooperation. Water Use in the ACF System. The Apalachicola Model: Management, not Restoration.
Conclusions: Introduction. Scientific Research. Regulation and Enforcement. Public Education. Legal Action. News Media. The Ecology of Restoration. Economic/Political Considerations.
Field/laboratory Research Outlines and Methods. Perdido System. Comparison of Econfina and Fenholloway Systems: Gulf Coast. Analysis Pensacola River-Bay System: 1997. Statistical Analyses Used in the Long-Term Studies of Aquatic Systems.
"The strength of the book is in its emphasis on interdisciplinary science as an essential approach to ecosystem research…valuable reading to researchers and regulators…the principles and mechanisms of eutrophication demonstrated here may be applicable to other regions. It serves as an instructional treatise on what is required to adequately evaluate the eutrophication process."
-COPEIA, February 2002
"I would recommend this book to researchers, resource managers, and students interested in ecosystem restoration efforts … This volume presents some of the most detailed case histories in existence and it would be a great addition to the library of ecologists interested in restoration efforts… the excellent long-term data sets combined with the author’s experience in ecosystem restoration make this a valuable publication that should be read by researchers working on ecosystem restoration efforts."
—The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2008, vol. 83, no. 3
"I would recommend this book…The author has much experience and has compiled extensive long-term data sets, and the associated case histories proved an excellent reference for researchers and managers working on restoration problems. This volume present some of the most detailed case histories in existence and it would be a great addition to the library of ecologists interested in restoration efforts. … excellent long-term data sets combined with the author’s experience in ecosystem restoration make this a valuable publication."
— Micheal S. Allen, Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville in The Quarterly Review of Biology 83(3) 2008