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Mapping native and non-native riparian vegetation in the Colorado River Watershed




Evangelista, Paul, author
Young, Nicholas, author
Vorster, Tony, author
West, Amanda, author
Hatcher, Emma, author
Woodward, Brian, author
Anderson, Ryan, author
Girma, Rebecca, author

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Using remote sensing to map riparian vegetation, particularly single species such as tamarisk and Russian olive, requires georeferenced occurrence locations with estimations of foliar cover to train remote sensing-based models. This report details on the data, resources, methods and results to developing riparian vegetation, tamarisk and Russian olive distribution models along the Colorado River and its’ main tributaries. Change in riparian vegetation for Colorado River Basin was analyzed, finding an overall increase in riparian vegetation between 2006 and 2016. Also, an evaluation of the change map in known regions of tamarisk management showed that our models did identify a substantial decrease in tamarisk. The results of this study are a promising next step for project partners to utilize remote sensing to monitor the efficacy of management efforts throughout the Colorado River Basin and inform future management strategies.


Revised October 24, 2018.

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invasive species
riparian vegetation
remote sensing
field data


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