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Preliminary paleontologic report on core 37 from Pass Key, Everglades National Park, Florida Bay

December 1, 1998

Sediments from Pass Key core 37, in eastern Florida Bay (N 25.1478, W 80.5745) record a history of rapid sedimentation during this century. The lowest portion of the core contains benthic fauna indicative of relatively low salinities and sparse seagrass coverage. This period is followed by an increase in salinity and seagrass. In the middle portion of the core, a slight decrease in salinity and an increase in seagrass occur. These shifts in the benthic fauna correspond to a period when the terrestrial flora change, and an increase in dinocyst absolute abundance occurs, indicating changes in factors affecting the entire South Florida ecosystem. These changes may represent a period of increased terrestrial flushing, due to rainfall, water management practices or a combination of both. The benthic faunas in the upper portion of the core indicate an increase in salinity and seagrass density. This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards or with the North American Stratigraphic Code. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.