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Application of a three-tier framework to assess ecological condition of Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands
Nestlerode, J., V. Hansen, AND A. Teague. Application of a three-tier framework to assess ecological condition of Gulf of Mexico coastal wetlands. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT. Springer, New York, NY, 186(6):3477-3493, (2014).
A multi‐level coastal wetland assessment strategy was applied to wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to evaluate the feasibility of this approach for a broad national scale wetland condition assessment (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Wetlands Condition Assessment). Landscape‐scale assessment indicators (Tier 1) were developed and applied at the sub‐watershed (12‐digit Hydrologic Unit) level within the GOM coastal wetland sample frame with scores calculated using land‐use maps and GIS. Rapid assessment protocols (Tier‐2), using a combination of office and field work, evaluated metrics associated with landscape context, hydrology, physical structure, and biological structure. Intensive site monitoring (Tier‐3) included measures of soil chemistry and composition, water column and pore‐water chemistry, and dominant macrophyte community composition and tissue chemistry. Relationships within and among assessment levels were evaluated using multivariate and principal component analyses with few significant correlations were found. More detailed measures of hydrology, soils, and macrophyte species composition from sites across a known condition gradient, in conjunction with validation of standardized rapid assessment method, may be necessary to fully characterize coastal wetlands across the region
This manuscript describes the application of a multi-level coastal wetland assessment strategy to wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico to evaluate the feasibility of this approach for a broad national scale wetland condition assessment.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION