The Everglades Handbook
Friends of the Everglades extends enormous thanks to Thomas E. Lodge for his generous approval of reposted details of his book, The Everglades Handbook, Fourth Edition on our website. A premiere reference for Everglades information, we intend this information to be a resource for all who come to dig deep into the details of Everglades restoration.
Section 1 —
The Everglades must be understood within the context of a larger region, encompassing more than just southern Florida. The Everglades lies in the south end of a watershed—an interconnected web of wetlands, creeks, ponds, rivers, and lakes— that begins as far north as the Orlando area of Central Florida.
Section 2 —
Environments of the Everglades
Expanses of freshwater marsh are the essence of the Everglades. The habitat and, oddly, the low productivity of these marshlands provide the values on which Everglades’ wildlife thrives. Seasonally changing water levels alternately produce and then concentrate aquatic organisms— small fish and invertebrates—making them easy targets for the ecosystem’s top predators…
Section 3 —
Flora and Fauna
During the relatively recent glaciation, when the Florida peninsula was cooler and drier than today, a temperate flora thrived. The tropical flora has only invaded the region in the last 6,000 years. The warming trend following the last glacial period had apparently progressed enough by then that the climate resembled that of today, and a tropical flora began to flourish…
Section 4 —
Degradation of southern Florida’s natural systems is evident everywhere. It ranges from extensive land development and associated alterations of the region’s natural hydrology, to the deliberate removal of certain plants and wildlife, to the introduction of nonnative plants and animals, and finally to the effects of pollutants and toxins. Obviously, humans have caused the massive changes that have occurred since the initial drainage works by Hamilton Disston in the 1880s, yet mankind has lived in the region for millennia.
Tom Lodge —
The Everglades Handbook
The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Ecosystem is a scholarly reference packed cover to cover with scientific information about the ecosystem of the Everglades – taking into account how drastically the Everglades has changed. Topically, the book covers disciplines ranging from ecology, geology, climatology, hydrology, anthropology to conservation biology. Written in Tom Lodge’s trademark accessible style, this extensively researched text is essential reading for anybody trying to understand the challenges we face in restoring this unique ecosystem.