Wikipedia:Peer review/Geography and ecology of the Everglades/archive1

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Geography and ecology of the Everglades

This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because it is the second satellite article for Everglades. There will be two more, and I would like to bring all satellite articles and the one for Everglades to FA quality… Thanks, Moni3 (talk) 18:15, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Ruhrfisch comments: Sorry to have taken so long to comment. Another interesting and generally well done article. Here are some suggestions for improvement, mostly nit-picks:

  • The first sentence of the lead seems like it could be improved to me - just as the lead summarizes the article I think the first sentence should try to give what is most important about the lead. Unfortunatley I can not think of how to phrase it, but think I would make it longer and perhaps mention more details - is Florida important enough to be in the first sentence, for example?
  • Should there be a cite for the direct quote in the lead: The "River of Grass" metaphor given...?
  • The word "creek" here seems odd The Kissimmee River creek outlets flow into Lake Okeechobee, which sits 18 feet (5.5 m) above sea level.[1]
  • "This sawgrass domination" is a bit awkward in This sawgrass domination in freshwater marshes, or sloughs, is the main characteristic of what is commonly known as the Everglades.
  • I think the Water section is quite well done, but had some trouble following the Geology section. Although the Everglades as such are only 5000 years old, the stones underlying them are older than this, aren't they? Yet the sentence The Everglades is a geologically young system, at only 5,000 years old. makes it sound like the rocks are that old, when I think it is their current position that is this old. I think part of why the Water section seems clearer is that it is more chronological and starts earlier. Perhaps this information could be switched to the start of Geology, or maybe the first paragraph of water should be the first part before the current Geology section.
  • I would give examples of hydroperiods earlier - since this is in a Geology section, when I read Areas that were submerged beneath seawater for longer periods of time, like ... I was thinking more of geological periods of time (thousands of years or more) not 10 months out of the year.
  • Epiphytes is plural so the end of this sentence needs to be fixed Donna also significantly spread buttonwood, saltwort, and glasswort, and epiphytes started to grow in areas it was previously unseen before the hurricane.[13] Maybe areas where they were previously unseen before the hurricane.[13]?
  • I would add a zero before the decimal in for one foot (.30 m) of peat to develop
  • Perhaps "flowing" instead of "spanning" in spanning from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay.?
  • I also am not sure water "creeps" in Sawgrass thrives in the slowly creeping water, ...
  • Last two sentences in "Freshwater sloughs" section need a cite
  • "risen" seems like an odd verb in The islets are slightly elevated due to areas unharmed by deep peat fires, or limestone plateaus risen several inches above the surrounding peat. perhaps "which have risen"?
  • Need to make sure both English and metric units are given - 161,660 acres needs hectares or sqare km
  • I like the map that is in the article, but I think one that shows the Keys and Florida Bay would be useful too.
  • I think this would benefit from a copyedit - there are several slightly rough spots still.

Hope this helps. If my comments are useful, please consider peer reviewing an article, especially one at Wikipedia:Peer review/backlog (which is how I found this article). Yours, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 03:08, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Ruhrfisch. I cleaned up most of what you remarked on. I rewrote the geology section and parts of the lead. I do need to go back over these and re-read them a few times. I admit I'm writing them hastily and there are a few bumpy spots. I do appreciate your assistance with these articles, though. --Moni3 (talk) 13:37, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Doing... Glane23 20:39, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Comments from Ealdgyth (talk · contribs)

  • I just checked the sources, which look fine. 15:26, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Comments from WillowW (talk · contribs)

Hi, I'm just beginning this, so I'll gradually be adding comments as I get through it, and then some more once I started brooding over it. Please be patient! :) Willow (talk) 20:15, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

  • More maps and earlier would help readers orient themselves. I really liked Image:Historic_Everglades_Regions.jpg and that might be nicely augmented with a larger-scale map of Florida showing where the former map fit in. Willow (talk) 20:15, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The lead was difficult to follow for me, especially the first paragraph. Maybe it's just me, but I like to be taken by the hand by a spellbinding narrator and not let go until the end. Here, I was having difficulties imagining what was going to follow in the article to follow. More organization and more concrete images, please, if that's possible. :) Willow (talk) 20:20, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
The lead reads much better for me! :) I caught more of the broad strokes of the article, and the watershed vs. ecosystems thing came across nicely. But my brain still short-circuited over the defining phrase, "complex system of interdependent elements" which, although totally true, didn't evoke any mental image for me? You still have room to grow the article; I think it'd be better to expand, even take another paragraph and spell things out in concrete images, e.g., the rocks are like this; plants grow like this; birds, fish and animals work together like this and have adapted to such&such challenges thus; these-and-these nutrients are in short supply and flow through the ecosystem like so, etc. For me, the lead should be like how your sister feels after her first day visiting you in your new home; she's not a tour guide yet, but she has her rough bearings, she knows the main players and places and what their issues are? Willow (talk) 08:55, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • From reading the article, it seems as though the Everglades isn't one ecosystem, but a confederation of ecosystems within the same watershed, that are shaped by similar forces. Do I have the right mental picture? The ecosystems seem to be associated with the geographical divisions, e.g., the Big Cypress vs. the Atlantic coast regions vs. the Bay and so on? Willow (talk) 20:35, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
It's kind of both. Geographically, the Everglades is located in South Florida and surrounded by other features. Ecologically, the Everglades are many systems that make up on living organism, including the atmosphere, the limestone, and fire. In fact, the grammar about the Everglades is itself dual. Both singular and plural are appropriate. It's rather difficult to make that distinction, but I can try. --Moni3 (talk) 20:41, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I think you get across well how the the plants, animals, water movements and geology of the Everglades are all interconnected and dynamic (maybe pliant would be better a word). Maybe you could organize them by how quickly they change, you know, like geology changes slowly, then water movements, then plants/trees, then animals. It would be like a polyphony where the voices all move at different speeds. Also, that might make for better contrast when discussing man-made changes that affect normally-very-slow-changing elements. Willow (talk) 20:45, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm trying to envision what that would look like. Geology, water, soil, plants, animals, fire? Are you suggesting the sections that describe each ecosystem be integrated? --Moni3 (talk) 20:53, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
No, I really liked your division into the geographical regions; they helped me to put everything into context. You might even mention those regions more strongly in the lead, too, e.g., "The Everglades has six major areas:... These six areas share a common geology and are shaped by common forces (water and fire), but differ radically in the plant and animal life that they sustain..." I'm just wrestling (wrasslin') with how you might organize the information so that it goes down more smoothly for neophyte readers; not to be gross, but baby birds like me need to have our food partially pre-digested. ;) Willow (talk) 08:37, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm expecting that the average reader would still benefit from getting their bearings in more depth after finishing the lead? I would begin the article proper with an Overview section (or something like that) where you show a large map with the major regions (such as the Image:Historic Everglades Regions.jpg) and lay out a roadmap for the rest of the article. I don't think you can do that in the lead itself, for one thing, because the present lead image is much nicer and engaging than any old map. ;) Such an Overview section would also give you the opportunity to rough out the themes of the articles and define technical terms that appear commonly throughout, such as "hydroperiod", "marl" and "slough"; I don't think I'd depend on the reader following links for those. Willow (talk) 09:22, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
You could also call that section "Geography" or "Geography and technical terms", consistent with the article title (dope-slaps self—d'oh!). Willow (talk) 10:00, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Really dumb question: do you have yearly seasons in the Everglades? I know you have hurricane season and all, but is there more than that? Do plants go dormant, do trees drop their leaves? I suppose you must have some kind of seasons, since the sunlight changes over the year, but I also have this mental image of the Everglades being green all year round. Willow (talk) 09:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Am I right in understanding that oxygen is a limiting resource underwater? Why is that? Are there other limiting resources or environmental challenges, aside from the high salt concentration? Willow (talk) 09:54, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I found myself wanting to know more about the food chain in the Everglades, and in particular, more about what the alligators and birds were eating: fish? crabs? Maybe the algae of the Everglades are really interesting? Willow (talk) 09:54, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • The section that would benefit most from more organization is, I think, the "Forming processes" one and "Geology" in particular. Contrary to my suggestion above, I would put geology last in this section, being the least important; I would organize it Water, Fire and Geology. In the geology section, I would cover only geology and soil: mainly the limestone, how it's worn away by slightly acidic water, its distribution within the Greater Everglades Region, etc. It might be nice to have more on the geologic and paleontologic background, too, e.g., where did all those seashells making up the limestone come from? The non-geological stuff, e.g., the ecosystems in flux, the hydroperiod definition, the peat build-up and decay, I would put into another section. Willow (talk) 10:10, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Like Ruhrfisch above, I was unclear about the 5,000-year thing. With the exception of volcanos, I usually think of geological processes as being much slower? Maybe deposition of soil/silt from Okeechobee was doing something, like gradually extending a brackish river delta further out into the Atlantic and making dry land at the same time? Willow (talk) 10:17, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I made some initial changes, but even before your peer review, I knew I had to expand some things. I need to make it just really crystal clear that fluctuations in water affect the smallest organisms, insects and snails, that have vital consequences for larger animals. I need to add a section on soils, particularly around Lake Okeechobee, because much of the material in my following articles relates to agriculture and how the soils are being manipulated by sugarcane growers and are disappearing as a result. This is going to take me a couple days, so keep the peer review page on your watchlist if you don't mind, and I'll let you know when I think I've added what needs to be done. Thanks again, Willow. I plan to ask the fine folks at IFAS to look at the article as well. No guarantee that they'll do it, but I'd like to have it comprehensive before I ask them. Please let me know if you have any suggestions at all. --Moni3 (talk) 13:52, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Gentle strength for both of us. :)
Hi Moni! OK, I'll check back early next week sometime. Good luck with everything! :) Willow (talk) 17:54, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Dang. I don't know if it's just tonight, if I'm Everglades-fried, or it's writing this section, but I added a section on Trophic dynamics and haven't cussed so much since I had to write a paper on Rush Limbaugh for some stupid required credit in college. He writes like an idiot. Sorry it took me longer than I planned. I wanted to get Restoration of the Everglades posted. I still want to add a few sentences on soils if it's not clear about them, and since my understanding of soil types is shaky, I think it's not clear... whatever opinion you can give I am grateful for. I hope my energy isn't waning. Gah. --Moni3 (talk) 01:00, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I have to run now, but I'll look it over tomorrow. Bon courage! (Rush Limbaugh? You poor thing!) Well, we can be as patient with each other and with the article as we need to be; everything ripens in its own time. :) Willow (talk) 21:32, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

"Remember everything I told you, keep it in your heart like a stone
And when the winds have blown things round and back again
What was once your pain will be your home
Everything in its own time."

(Indigo Girls - lyrics, again...) Thank you for the strength. I need it. Sometimes I wish I could help you with your mathematics articles, but God frowns on that from me. --Moni3 (talk) 23:26, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I know, She has such a odd sense of humor, no? And not just for puns on Peter. You have gifts I wish for, too; remember my platypus-horses? ;)

The Indigo Girls are maybe my favourite group in the whole wide world. I felt like I woke up when I first heard their first album, especially "Love's Recovery". Emily's songs can melt me like a piece of chocolate.

I'm really glad you're so cool and patient with me, because I'm going to have to be lame yet again. :( There's something important I have to do before night falls; thank you. :) Willow (talk) 20:42, 30 May 2008 (UTC)