Characterizing patterns of wetland occurrence in Oregon using an interactive geodatabase : a method for conservation planning Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tb09j7751

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  • Several state and federal agencies have identified Oregon's coastal wetlands as priority areas for conservation, and in some cases have specifically singled out nontidal (mostly palustrine) wetlands as a major concern. Recent research has highlighted the need to study and manage wetlands from a regional perspective that considers the distribution of wetlands within the framework of watersheds and ecoregions. Public planning and awareness of coastal palustrine wetlands has been limited by their small size and the lack of digital National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) coverage in the upper reaches of coastal watersheds where many are located. This research was designed to test hypotheses about physiographic and derived topographic variables associated with mapped palustrine wetlands. The study assumed that certain variables were more significant than others in characterizing these wetlands, and sought to identify relationships among variables that were indicative of wetland distributions across watersheds and ecoregions. A three phase approach was demonstrated for characterizing palustrine wetland size and degree of isolation that included designing an enhanced NWI geodatabase of palustrine wetland polygons, creating watershed profiles and wetland demographic statistics, and analyzing the data using exploratory data analysis in the form of decision tree modeling. This study confirmed the ability to provide information on the geographical distributions and relationships existing among environmental variables and mapped wetland polygons. An enhanced understanding of these characteristics has applications for conservation planning including sustainable wetland creation and restoration.
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