Speaker: Donatto Surratt, U.S. National Park Service
Title: Development of a modified floristic quality index as a rapid habitat assessment method in the northern Everglades
Abstract: Floristic quality assessments (FQA) using floristic quality indices (FQIs) are useful tools for assessing and comparing vegetation communities and related habitat condition. However, intensive vegetation surveys requiring significant time and technical expertise are necessary, which limits the use of FQIs in environmental monitoring programs. This study modified standard FQI methods to develop a rapid assessment method for characterizing and modeling change in wetland habitat condition in the northern Everglades. The habitat characterization and assessment tool (HCAT) developed here can be used to monitor, assess, and evaluate habitats with the objective of informing management decisions (e.g., as a screening tool) to maximize conservation and restoration of protected areas and is transferable to other wetlands withadditional modification.
Bio: Dr. Donatto Surratt holds a Ph.D. in the Environmental Sciences, which he received in the Environmental Science Institute at Florida A&M University. Dr. Surratt worked in many aspects of biogeochemistry over the last 16 years. Research projects have ranged from radiochemical analysis of soils in a disparaged community (Scarboro, Oak Ridge, TN), to open ocean (Gulf of Mexico) and estuarine (Apalachicola Bay) sediment and water chemistry assessments, to wetland (Refuge and Everglades National Park) water chemistry analysis. Presently, he is employed with the Everglades National Park and located at the ARM Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) as a part of the Everglades Program Team. He serves as the Everglades National Park’s technical representative on the Technical Oversight Committee; providing guidance for and performance of data analysis and technical summaries. In his position, information is consistently converted from highly technical data synthesis to useful information aimed at enhancing the ability of management to make decisions with regards to Everglades restoration.
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