National riparian vegetation monitoring protocol development - John Day, Oregon pilot.
Manning, Mary1, 1 USDA Forest Service, Northern Region, Missoula, MT, USA
ABSTRACT- A national riparian monitoring program is needed to detect change in condition and extent of riparian areas. Nationally consistent core variables are required, which can be compiled and analyzed at the state or national scale. Repeatability and statistical rigor have been lacking in past riparian monitoring efforts. Probability based sampling eliminates bias and facilitates inferences about the population from the sample estimate, which is important given petitions under the Data Quality Act. As a result, in partnership with US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis, the Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) riparian monitoring pilot was conducted in the John Day Basin of Oregon. EPA Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) provided stream sampling locations where EMAP has done intensive sampling at sites previously sampled by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, using EMAP protocols. These include vegetation, instream and floodplain sampling. The FHM crew sampled 40 sites. Two plot designs were tested: 1) circular subplots and 2) rectangular plots- both types placed end to end, and aligned perpendicular to the stream. The Pacfish/Infish Biological Opinion Effectiveness Monitoring (PIBO) crew sampled 23 of these sites; the greenline and valley cross section transects augment the FHM data. As a result, comparative analysis of these 4 data sets by USFS and EPA statisticians identify areas of overlap and differences in the data. This facilitates data sharing and augmentation of existing plot designs to fully characterize the riparian area. In addition, comparative analysis of the rectangular and circular plot design will determine which design is most efficient at characterizing riparian vegetation for the purposes of area estimation. Analysis of vegetation will include comparison of alpha, beta and gamma diversity between the two plot designs and among the four data sets.
Key words: monitoring, riparian
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