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Comprehensive Riparian Mapping of the Colorado Plateau Ecoregion

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posted on 2015-03-23, 19:18 authored by Martha JensenMartha Jensen, Wally Macfarlane, Joseph M. WheatonJoseph M. Wheaton, Phaedra Budy, Jordan Gilbert, Justin Jimenez

Riparian areas of the Colorado Plateau Ecoregion (CPE) are among the most productive and diverse ecosystems in this semiarid region. These small, yet vital ecosystems support a myriad of aquatic and terrestrial species while simultaneously providing valuable ecosystem services. Maintenance of these important ecosystems requires accurate delineation and characterization. Nevertheless, accurate and comprehensive riparian zone mapping currently doesn’t exist.

This project aims to accurately delineate valley bottoms, while characterizing riparian areas and rivers throughout the CPE. The results of this project will provide a comprehensive CPE wide inventory of the distribution and condition of riverine riparian areas. This riparian inventory will serve as an important baseline tool for threat abatement, and for monitoring ecological responses to natural and anthropogenic actions and change.