OOS 23 - Taking stock: The role of vegetation and ecosystem types in guiding ecological assessments

Wednesday, August 10, 2011: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
12A, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Pat Comer
Moderator: Ayzik Solomeshch
Stewardship of lands and waters requires ongoing assessments of their status. Information on ecosystem or vegetation types, their patterns, levels of protection, and current condition, and climate-induced stressors are core components of such assessments. These classifications provide essential information on ecosystem diversity, and provide a framework for understanding natural ranges of variability and responses to anthropogenic stressors. The assessments need to be comprehensive, whether focused on entire ecoregions or on special elements of biodiversity, such as wetlands or forests. The goal of this session is to highlight recent developments in both ecoregion wide and targeted ecosystem type assessments. For example, The Bureau of Land Management has engaged with partners to conduct comprehensive ecoregional assessment in a number of ecoregions, including the Mojave and Central Basins. As part of an expanding set of wetland condition assessment methods, the Environmental Protection Agency is launching a National Wetland Condition Assessment in 2011. We will present the goals and methods for each type of assessment, starting with ecoregional assessments, highlight the role that classifications provide in helping guide the assessment, and how these assessments will inform management decisions on the ground.
8:00 AM
Cross-assemblage concordance is lower in disturbed than in reference wetlands: implications for monitoring and assessment
Rebecca Rooney, University of Waterloo; Suzanne E. Bayley, University of Alberta
8:20 AM
Gauging ecological integrity in Bureau of Land Management rapid ecoregional assessments
Patrick J. Comer, NatureServe; Marion S. Reid, NatureServe
8:40 AM
Fire Regime Dynamics in BLM rapid ecological assessments
Bob Unnasch, Sound Science; Jon Hak, NatureServe
9:20 AM
The role of Ecological System mapping for assessment and stewardship applications in Texas
Lee F. Elliott, Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership; David D. Diamond, University of Missouri
9:40 AM
9:50 AM
Wetland condition assessment and mitigation - guiding stewardship of wetlands
Gwen Kittel, NatureServe; Don Faber-Langendoen, NatureServe
10:10 AM
Using a vegetation classification framework for rapid assessment measures of biodiversity: a case study from wetlands in the Southwest
Esteban H. Muldavin, Natural Heritage New Mexico; Elizabeth Milford, University of New Mexico; Yvonne Chauvin, University of New Mexico; Brian Bader, SWCA Environmental Consultants; Maryann McGraw, New Mexico Environment Department
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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.