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Ecology Program Update 2016

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Ecology Program Update 2016

  1. 1. The Ecology Program: Overview Mapping, description, assessment and analysis of wetlands and riparian areas Statewide and ecosystem-specific land cover mapping and modeling Description, assessment and analysis of upland plant communities and ecological systems
  2. 2. Wetlands and wetland mapping  2,370 USGS 24K quads mapped;  3,192,485 total acres mapped;  2,523,183 wetland acres;  669,301 riparian acres.
  3. 3. LAND COVER/ LAND USE 2016LAND COVER/ LAND USE 2016
  4. 4. Whitebark pine mapping Partnership with USFS Region 1 Goal is to map extent whitebark pine, emphasizing regeneration and persistence Presence-absence complete for Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Helena, Lewis and Clark, Gallatin-Custer NFs, Lolo and Bitterroot, and in progress for Kootenai and IP. Relative Abundance completed for several of the forests
  5. 5. Assessment and analysis: NWCA 2016 EPA-sponsored project to assess nation’s wetlands every 5 years Revised from 2011 to include more western sites 24 sites in Montana Opportunity to expand plant distribution records and revise field guide
  6. 6. Assessment and analysis: LLWW descriptors  Set of descriptors developed by Ralph Tiner with USFWS for the eastern U.S.  Based on geomorphic setting, water source, and hydrodynamics  Links wetland type with wetland function (biotic/abiotic)  Predict potential wetland function
  7. 7. Missouri River Milk River Yellowstone River PowderRiver Musse lshell River Marias River B ighornRiver Madison River Judith River SmithRiver Blackfoot River C lark Fork R iver RubyRiver SwanRiver Big Hole River Jef ferson River South ForkFlatheadRiver Montana State Library 0 150 30075 Kilometers Text
  8. 8. % of wetlands by disturbance category
  9. 9. Assessment and analysis: Wetlands of Special Significance  Unit of analysis has been the individual polygons  In real life, wetlands are often aggregations of polygons  We have begun using wetland mosaics or large, single-type wetlands as our units of interest in analysis
  10. 10. Wetlands of special significance
  11. 11. Red = WSS 1 Orange= WSS 2 Grey= WSS 3
  12. 12. WSS1 WSS2 WSS3 Mosaics N 1,050 3,351 7,425 Area (ha) 40,680 99,441 313,099 Non mosaics N 1,622 2,772 6,372 Area (ha) 7,840 12,765 178,384 Total area (ha) 48,520 112,206 491,483
  13. 13. Communities and ecological systems The National Vegetation Classification standard is complete down to the group level, and we have crosswalked it to ecological systems for Montana. The Montana Field Guide for Ecological Systems is currently being updated to include newly named alliances and associations, and the crosswalk with the NVC Standard A full revision of forested ecological systems has been completed, with particular attention to disturbances and ecological dynamics, and will be online by the end of the year. Other systems will follow during the winter.
  14. 14. Current and ongoing core work/projects BSLRP Assigning wetland mosaics and large wetlands to ecological systems to improve predictive modelling for wetland-dependent species Identification of fire-affected wetlands to document change over time Selection of “sentinel wetlands” that we expect will be susceptible to climate change impacts Index of Alien Invasibility Simplified FQAIs Automated extraction of riparian areas from aerial imagery in places with only outdated NWI mapping Change detection to identify areas where new mapping may need revision Consolidation of our assessment databases so that assessment data can be accessed through MapViewer

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