This conservation asset was not assessed for vulnerability
Florida has approximately 7,800 Natural Lakes with a surface area of one acre (0.4 ha) or more. The majority of these lakes were formed or enlarged by dissolution of the underlying limestone by acidic surface waters. Most natural lakes in Florida retain an intimate connection with groundwater, and lack a natural surface outflow. They may be connected to aquatic caves by underground fissures or bedding planes, and thus provide additional habitat for animal species found in those subterranean habitats, or they may have bottom substrates of silt or sand. Most of these lakes have highly variable water levels.
Despite their origin, many Florida lakes are not alkaline, and are vulnerable to acidification. They are commonly nutrient-deficient, thus are vulnerable to nutrient inputs.
Florida’s lakes are usually less than 45 feet (14 m) deep, with sand, silt, or organic bottom substrates. Depending on the water chemistry, vegetation in the lakes can vary from nonexistent, to a fringe of emergent plants at the shoreline, to a complete covering of floating plants. Invasive, non-native aquatic weeds are a major threat to this habitat. Some Florida lakes have held water continuously for 8,000 years, and two exceed 30,000 years in age.
Reservoirs are constructed to collect water for municipal and/or agricultural water use, to provide hydroelectric power, and to improve opportunities for recreational activities (e.g. boating, swimming), and development. Reservoirs are created by the damming of a flowing stream or excavation within a terrestrial habitat. They are essentially permanent, although some dry completely during droughts.
This conservation asset includes Natural lakes, Natural Ponds, and Man-made Reservoirs.
Increasing air temperature will cause warming water temperatures. This could be further exacerbated by reduced precipitation, with shallower water areas experiencing more warming.
Increased precipitation could lead to increased nutrient, sediment and pollutant loading within the system. Lakes are vulnerable to changes in water levels, with decreased precipitation leading to lower the water levels that can hasten successional processes.
Increased precipitation and floods that prevent periodic dry-downs may lead to increased rate of eutrophication. Changes to adjacent land use due to climate change, particularly towards more intensive agriculture or increased impervious surfaces, will increase runoff and sedimentation rates and, therefore, successional processes.
Fish and invertebrates with narrow temperature tolerances will be impacted when water temperatures exceed their maximum threshold. Warmer water temperatures can increase the stress on species, leading to declines in health and increases in vulnerability to parasites and disease.
Many aquatic species will be affected by bank erosion, increased siltation, and run-off caused by increased precipitation and storm events.
Increased algal blooms, droughts, and high temperatures can cause low oxygen levels, leading to fish mortality.
Increased invasive plants can cause degradation to the system impacting suitability for waterfowl and wading birds.