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Metric Similarity in Vegetation-Based Wetland Assessment Methods
Mack, J. J. AND M. E. KENTULA. Metric Similarity in Vegetation-Based Wetland Assessment Methods. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/140 (NTIS PB2012-110755), 2010.
Wetland vegetation is a recognized indicator group for wetland assessments, but until recently few published protocols used plant-based indicators. To examine the proliferation of such protocols since 1999, this report reviewed 20 published index of biotic integrity (IBI) type protocols. The question we was: Given the method/data equivalence in these protocols, is there convergence among these methods in the type of vegetation attributes that are ultimately selected as metrics? Our working hypothesis was that if there is method convergence, then there may be core metrics or categories of metrics that are applicable to multiple states and regions and to different wetland types and that wetland plant communities respond similarly to human disturbance. The metrics grouped into 24 categories. The invasive species metric category was the only category that was used by all of the indices. Over 40% (10 of 24) of the metric categories were used by more than 50% of the indices evaluated and over a third (9 of 24) of the categories was used by 20-50% of the indices. Therefore, a core set of indicators derived from quantitative vegetation data appear to be useful across diverse states and regions. As the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys and the component assessment of the ecological condition of the Nation’s wetlands proceed, data will be for the development of vegetation-based and other IBIs. This will allow a national derivation and evaluation of the core metrics identified in our analysis. It also would provide the basis for the future development of assessment methods with regional or national applicability.
Given the method/data equivalence in these protocols, is there convergence among these methods in the type of vegetation attributes that are ultimately selected as metrics?
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION
FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH