Fancy new GPS tool creates highly detailed vegetation maps

Tuesday, September 17, 2013
 

Map of vegetation communitiesThe Rooney Lab recently acquired a neat new tool: a GPS unit with sub-meter real time accuracy.  This device lets us map the distribution of different vegetation communities in the field.  Back in the lab, we can tie those distribution patterns to different environmental variables and examine aspects of the shape and spatial arrangement of vegetation community patches.  We hope to use this information to characterize what a healthy, natural wetland looks like, and then to use that characterization as a model for restored or reclaimed wetlands.  This is called the reference condition approach, where healthy natural wetlands serve as the reference for constructed or restored ones.

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