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Soil and Water Science

UF/IFAS Department of Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences Extension faculty translate current and relevant soil and water science knowledge into user-friendly form for Florida residents, visitors, industry, business, governmental agencies and county agents.

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Editorial Team

  • aaguirre1 - ICS Editor
  • Rao Mylavarapu - Editor
  • Matt Whiles - Chair, Approver


Biodiversity as a Tool to Boost Seagrass Restoration Success

SS728/SL515by C. Spengler, Jamila Roth, and Laura K. ReynoldsMay 14, 2024This publication reviews the importance of seagrass, major threats to seagrass, and ways in which seagrass species diversity and genetic diversity can positively impact seagrass management and restoration. Written by C. Spengler, Jamila Roth, and Laura K. Reynolds, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil, Water, and Ecosystem Sciences, March 2024.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

Living Shoreline Ecosystem Service Valuation Tool

SS729/SL516by Ashley R. Smyth, Laura K. Reynolds, Savanna C. Barry, Natalie C. Stephens, Joshua T. Patterson, and Edward V. CampMay 8, 2024Living shorelines are an increasingly popular way to protect and stabilize waterfronts for coastal property owners. Living shorelines provide valuable benefits to humans, including water quality improvement, habitat, fisheries, and carbon sequestration. Estimating the economic value of the ecosystem services living shorelines offer is an integral part of management decisions. The living shoreline valuation tool can help quantify the costs and benefits of living shorelines projects. This publication briefly describes the ecosystem services associated with living shorelines. The purpose of this publication is to introduce the ecosystem service valuation tool. Our target audience for the living shoreline evaluation tool includes natural resource extension agents, community organizations, and coastal homeowners who want to calculate the value of ecosystem services provided by coastal restoration projects, including living shorelines. Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

Developing a Web-based Agro-Application

SS726/SL513by Lakesh K. Sharma, Rishabh Khanna, and Hardeep SinghApril 19, 2024This publication discusses the general concept of web and mobile application development and provides knowledge and stepwise instructions to develop an application in agricultural systems. The primary audience is researchers, extension personnel, consultants, and students who are interested in developing and using web and mobile applications for decision-making.Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises

Climate Change: Effects on Salinity in Florida’s Estuaries and Responses of Oysters, Seagrass, and Other Animal and Plant Life

SG138/SGEF-218 by Ashley R. Smyth, H. Dail Laughinghouse, Laura K. Reynolds, Edward V. Camp, and Karl HavensApril 15, 2024Florida’s economically important estuaries could be heavily impacted by sea-level rise and altered river flow, both caused by climate change. The resulting higher salinity, or saltiness of the water, could harm plants and animals, alter fish, and bird habitat, and reduce the capacity of estuaries to provide such important services as seafood production and the protection of shorelines from erosion. This publication contains information for stakeholders, students, scientists, and environmental agencies interested in understanding how changes in salinity impact Florida’s estuaries.Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality

Linking Waterbody Acidification and Aquatic Plant Metabolism: A Lesson Plan for Middle School Students

SS725/SL512by Alexandra L. Bijak, Laura K. Reynolds, and Ashley R. SmythMarch 5, 2024Ocean acidification, the lowering of seawater pH due to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, is an emerging environmental challenge associated with climate change. This publication is intended for Florida grade eight educators and other environmental educators of middle school students. We designed a lesson plan to reinforce fundamental concepts in acid-base chemistry, including the pH scale, and to introduce students to waterbody acidification, its negative effects on shell-forming organisms, and the potential role of aquatic plant metabolism (i.e., photosynthesis and respiration) in mitigating these effects. The goal of the lesson plan is to encourage students to link water chemistry and biological processes while learning about the challenges and potential solutions to acidification within a local context. This lesson plan will contribute to state learning standards while generating appreciation for the complexity of the natural environment. Critical Issue: 3. Natural Resources and Environmental Quality