Statement of Problem: Considerable time and money has been expended to collect vegetation data with the Refuge. The final step is analysis of the vegetation data in order to characterize the vegetation community types that occur within the Refuge. The identification, description, and mapping of vegetation communities is critical for preparing the Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan, meeting wildlife habitat management goals, and tracking vegetation community change over time. By using National Vegetation Community System (NVCS) standards to develop vegetation community descriptions, the Refuge will participate in a national effort to develop vegetation community descriptions that are recognized by many Federal and State, and non-profit conservation organizations for vegetation mapping.
Objectives: Objectives: 1. Reformat previously collected vegetation data into a vegetation database that will permit data summaries and queries. 2. Identify vegetation assemblages that can be developed into meaningful vegetation communities 3. Characterize vegetation communities from existing data using multivariate techniques 4. Identify association-level vegetation communities based on National Vegetation Classification System (NVCS) 5. Identify and characterize any new community types not listed in NVCS 6. Develop a field key and photo guide to Refuge vegetation communities 7. Map identified vegetation communities within the Refuge at a scale of 1:24,000 8. Evaluate map accuracy for each identified community type.