Development of a Spatial Model for Saltcedar using GIS to Map Present Range, Predict Future Spread of Untreated Saltcedar and Select Restoration Sites Most Likely to be Successfully Restored to Desirable Native Vegetation

Project ID: 1361
Principal Investigator: Kathleen Fenton
Research Topic: Invasive Species
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004
Keywords: None

Research Question

Do geostatistical techniques such as patch analysis provide promise for predicting the size, connectivity, and current and future spread of salt cedar?

Does videography lend itself to locating salt cedar and monitoring treatment and restoration efforts?
Can a geographic information system (GIS) be used to identify those salt cedar infestations best suited for restoration to cottonwood-willow or slightly more mesic species.

A literature review will provide parameter information so GIS can be used to provide spatial modeling products. Reclamation offices will be surveyed to determine the nature and extent of their salt cedar issues.

Need and Benefit

What physical geographic parameters such as soil, climate, slope, and local flora and fauna affect the chances for re-vegetation after salt cedar has been removed?

Where can salt cedar be replaced by native vegetation?

Is the spatial extent of salt cedar greater than that of historical native riparian vegetation?

What environmental and other parameters determine suitability for salt cedar mitigation?

What physical geographic and biological parameters determine the future spread of salt cedar if it goes untreated?

These questions will be addressed by reviewing the literature and providing an annotated bibliography.

Parameters identified through the literature will be used for GIS modeling potential spread of salt cedar as well as identifying those salt cedar-infested areas best suited for restoration with either cottonwood-willow or slightly more mesic species since the spatial extent of salt cedar is generally greater than that of native riparian vegetation. Initially, a 25-mile stretch of either the Rio Grande or the Pecos River will be flown with videography to test its utility for locating salt cedar and monitoring treatment effects. A scoured watershed and a heavily salt cedar-infested, nonscoured watershed will be compared and contrasted using GIS methods to identify similarities and differences of salt cedar establishment and growth. A survey of Reclamation facilities will be conducted to determine the extent and severity of problems caused to Reclamation facilities by salt cedar.

The information provided by this research will assist Reclamation ". . . to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner. . ." It will provide the agency with basic information on how and where to expect salt cedar spread as well as identify those areas where successful restoration to a more valued vegetation type is probable. This information will assist Reclamation in developing a strategy for effectively controlling salt cedar and restoring vegetation with a lesser water requirement that, in the longer run, will save water.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 4/4/17