Science Inventory

REVIEW OF RAPID METHODS FOR ASSESSING WETLAND CONDITION

Citation:

Fennessy, M. S., A. D. Jacobs, AND M E. Kentula. REVIEW OF RAPID METHODS FOR ASSESSING WETLAND CONDITION. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/620/R-04/009 (NTIS PB2004-105418).

Impact/Purpose:

We evaluated over 40 wetland rapid assessment methods developed for a variety of purposes for their use in the assessment of ecological integrity or ecosystem condition.

Description:

We evaluated over 40 wetland rapid assessment methods developed for a variety of purposes for their use in the assessment of ecological integrity or ecosystem condition. Four criteria were used to screen methods: 1) the method can be used to measure condition, 2) it is truly rapid, 3) it is a site-level assessment and 4) the method can be verified. Based on our analysis we selected seven methods for evaluation relative to a conceptual model describing the core elements of an wetland assessment method. An additional nine methods (16 total) were considered for ideas on indicators, scoring, or regionalization. The conceptual model depicts the relationship between the wetlands being evaluated and the core elements of a rapid assessment method including both the universal wetland indicators of soil, hydrology, and biotic communities, and regional wetland indicators. We identified six key areas to address when adapting exiting methods or developing new methods to assess condition: definition of the assessment area, wetland classification, assessment of function versus condition , scoring, inclusion of "value added metrics," and validation with comprehensive ecological data. Rapid assessment methods can be valuable tools in the implementation of wetland and monitoring and assessment programs by reducing the time needed to sample a site an by increasing the number of sites that can be visited. This review discusses the current status of rapid assessment methods for wetlands and presents a framework for evaluating rapid assessment method for use in wetland monitoring.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Product Published Date: 01/01/2004
Record Last Revised: 08/29/2007
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 99746

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

AQUATIC MONITORING & BIOASSESSMENT BRANCH