You are here:
Calculating the ecosystem service of water storage in isolated wetlands using LIDAR in north central Florida, USA
LANE, C. R. AND E. D'Amico. Calculating the ecosystem service of water storage in isolated wetlands using LIDAR in north central Florida, USA. WETLANDS. The Society of Wetland Scientists, McLean, VA, 30(5):967-977, (2010).
The objective of this research is to support the Office of Water’s goals under the Clean Water Act, address the specific recommendations of the National Research Council for integrated watershed research, and contribute to the USEPA's "Environmental Indicators Initiative" to improve the Agency's ability to report on the status of and trends in environmental conditions and their impacts on the nation's natural resources. Task 8734 supports research to characterize the condition of aquatic resources and responses of aquatic assemblages and ecosystem processes to anthropogenic disturbance. These methods and indicators will be applied at multiple spatial and temporal scales. They will be evaluated for their statistical properties and their ability to detect specific stressors, mixtures, landscape and riparian measures of watershed disturbance, and early indicators of restoration and recovery.
This study used remotely-sensed Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data to estimate potential water storage capacity of isolated wetlands in north central Florida. The data were used to calculate the water storage potential of >8500 polygons identified as isolated wetlands. We found that isolated wetlands in this area stored 1619 m3/ha on average, with a median measure of 876 m3/ha. Significant differences in average storage capacity were found depending on wetland type, ranging from 1283 m3/ha in palustrine scrub-shrub wetlands to 2906 m3/ha in palustrine aquatic bed wetlands. Our study tested LiDAR-derived volume measures and volumes calculated using currently available equations in landscapes with differing surficial geology formations (e.g., clayey sand, limestone) and found that accuracy improved when basin morphology, a function of near-surface geology, was included. An exponential equation was developed that accurately correlated isolated wetland area and volume in our study area, but overestimated volume by an average of 45% when tested with a small independent dataset from the same ecoregion. The results from this study can be used in hydrologic modeling at the landscape scale to estimate ecosystem services and may prove useful in determining the significant nexus between isolated wetlands and navigable waters.