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  1. Wetland restoration requires managing long‐term changes in hydroperiod and ecosystem functions. We quantified relationships among spatiotemporal variability in wetland hydrology and total phosphorus (TP) and its stoichiometric relationships with total organic carbon (TOC:TP) and total carbon (TC:TP) and total nitrogen (TN:TP) in water, flocculent organic matter (floc), periphyton, sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), and soil during early phases of freshwater wetland restoration—water year (WY) 2016 (1 May, 2015 to 30 April, 2016) to WY 2019—in Everglades National Park (ENP, Homestead, FL, U.S.A.). Wetland hydroperiod increased by 87 days, following restoration actions and rainfall events that increased median stage in the upstream source canal. Concentrations of TP were highest and most variable at sites closest (<1 km) to canal inputs and upstream wetland sources of legacy P. Surface water TOC:TP and TN:TP ratios were highest in wetlands >1 km downstream of the canal in wet season 2015 with spatial variability reflecting disturbances including droughts, fires, and freeze events. The TP concentrations of flocculent soil surface particles, periphyton, sawgrass, and consolidated soil declined, and TC:TP and TN:TP ratios increased (except soil) logarithmically with downstream distance from the canal. We measured abrupt increases in periphyton (wet season 2018) and sawgrass TP (wet season 2015 and 2018) at sites <1 km from the canal, likely reflecting legacy TP loading. Our results suggest restoration efforts that increase freshwater inflow and hydroperiod will likely change patterns of nutrient concentrations among water and organic matter compartments of wetlands as a function of nutrient legacies.

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