Wetlands bring aquatic and terrestrial species together in dynamic ecosystems that are vibrant but vulnerable. We are the leaders in studying the Florida Everglades, a unique wetland habitat and vital natural resource. The Everglades is the site of one of the largest environmental restoration projects, and our research provides crucial knowledge that will help to protect the species that live in the “River of Grass” as well as the millions of people who depend on the Everglades for drinking water and protection from hurricanes.
Our wetland research covers all scales, from molecular to the whole landscape. FIU scientists are improving processes for detecting trace pollutants in the water; identifying species of microscopic diatoms that help maintain the ecosystem; and studying the distribution of species across the wetlands. We are also investigating processes such as sea level rise and saltwater intrusion which threaten the wetlands’ balance of nutrients and organisms. Our findings, representing decades of work in the field and the lab, are vital to our understanding of the Everglades and other wetlands around the world.