Riparian Wetlands: Mapping

Authored by: Kristen C. Hychka

Encyclopedia of Natural Resources

Print publication date:  July  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9781439852583
eBook ISBN: 9781351043847
Adobe ISBN:


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Riparian wetlands are critical systems that perform functions and provide services disproportionate to their extent in the landscape. Mapping wetlands allows for better planning, management, and modeling, but riparian wetlands present several challenges to effective mapping due to their morphology, size, forest cover, and relative dryness. There are three general approaches to mapping riparian wetlands. These include using on-site, remotely sensed, or ancillary data. These approaches all have trade-offs in terms of time, cost, accuracy (omission and commission), and repeatability. However, there are promising approaches to improve the accuracy of mapping riparian wetlands, particularly through radar, LiDAR intensity returns, multitemporal images, mechanistic modeling, and mixed method approaches.

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