Event Title

Riparian Vegetation as an Indicator of Riparian Condition: Detecting Separtures from Historic Condition Across the North American West

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Abstract

Methods that identify local riparian vegetation condition, an effective proxy for riparian health, have not been applied across broad, regional extents. Here we present an index to assess reach-scale (500 m segment) riparian vegetation condition across entire drainage networks. We estimated riparian vegetation condition for 53,250 km of perennial streams and rivers, 25,685 km in Utah, and 27,565 km in twelve watersheds of the interior Columbia River Basin (CRB), USA. The index characterizes riparian vegetation condition as the ratio of existing native riparian vegetation cover to pre-European settlement riparian vegetation cover at a given reach. Roughly 62% of Utah and 48% of CRB watersheds showed significant (>33%) to large (> 66%) departure from historic condition. rough comparisons to ground-based classification results, we estimate the existing vegetation component of the index to be 85% accurate. Our assessments yielded riparian condition maps that will help resource managers better prioritize sites and treatments for reach-scale conservation and restoration activities.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 19th, 5:10 PM Oct 19th, 5:15 PM

Riparian Vegetation as an Indicator of Riparian Condition: Detecting Separtures from Historic Condition Across the North American West

USU Eccles Conference Center

Methods that identify local riparian vegetation condition, an effective proxy for riparian health, have not been applied across broad, regional extents. Here we present an index to assess reach-scale (500 m segment) riparian vegetation condition across entire drainage networks. We estimated riparian vegetation condition for 53,250 km of perennial streams and rivers, 25,685 km in Utah, and 27,565 km in twelve watersheds of the interior Columbia River Basin (CRB), USA. The index characterizes riparian vegetation condition as the ratio of existing native riparian vegetation cover to pre-European settlement riparian vegetation cover at a given reach. Roughly 62% of Utah and 48% of CRB watersheds showed significant (>33%) to large (> 66%) departure from historic condition. rough comparisons to ground-based classification results, we estimate the existing vegetation component of the index to be 85% accurate. Our assessments yielded riparian condition maps that will help resource managers better prioritize sites and treatments for reach-scale conservation and restoration activities.