Mapping topography and broad vegetation type to characterise the Boxford meadows SSSI (Unit 2)

Roberts, C.; Old, G.; Mountford, O.; Sorensen, J.P.R.; Williams, P.J.. 2014 Mapping topography and broad vegetation type to characterise the Boxford meadows SSSI (Unit 2). Wallingford, UK, NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 10pp. (CEH Project no. C04470) (Unpublished)

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Understanding the dynamic relationship between hydrology and ecology in a complex wetland setting should be considered integral to the sustainable management and conservation of wetland habitats and future water resource planning. Wetland hydrology can exhibit considerable spatial complexity as a result of sub surface and surface heterogeneity. The latter of which may be determined by the relationship between spatial topography variation and broad vegetation distribution. Any study to investigate such a relationship must be at a spatial resolution sufficient to identify patterns in surface topography and vegetation type. In this study state of the art survey technology was used to collect and record for subsequent mapping the topographic and vegetation characteristics of the Boxford lowland chalk groundwater dependent terrestrial ecosystem (GDTE). The resultant survey dataset successfully unveiled distinct patterns in topography and vegetation type. The analysis of the data in a Geographical Information System (GIS) desk confirmed for the first time the presence of paleo-channels and a braided fluvial system within the meadows. In addition the combined survey method gives some indication that the type of vegetation present appears to coincide with some of the more distinctive topographical features. The results demonstrate that combining the field survey campaign alongside desk based GIS analysis is an extremely useful and versatile tool and can provide valuable information to support the decision making process for both further scientific investigation and sustainable habitat management.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
Funders/Sponsors: NERC/Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 31 Mar 2015 11:07 +0 (UTC)

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