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Dynamics of Florida milk production and total phosphate in Lake Okeechobee

By Joseph Park, Erik Saberski, Erik Stabenau, George Sugihara

Posted 09 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.09.434552

A central tenant of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is nutrient reduction to levels supportive of ecosystem health. A particular focus is phosphorus. We examine links between agricultural production and phosphorus loadings in the Everglades headwaters: Kissimmee River basin and Lake Okeechobee, considered an important source of water for restoration efforts. Over a span of 47 years we find strong correspondence between milk production in Florida and total phosphate in the lake, and, over the last decade, evidence that phosphorus in the lake may have initiated a long-anticipated decline in water column loading.

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