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Remnant hardwood forest mapping within the Upper Mississippi River floodplain

January 7, 2020

Executive Summary

The primary objective of the project was to locate previously unknown stands of mast-producing hardwood forest trees in the Upper Mississippi River floodplain using existing information. We located and mapped 399 previously unknown hardwood forest stands within the Mississippi River floodplain area of navigation pools 9, 10, and 11. Using color infrared images in combination with true-color imagery was useful for identifying hardwood forest stands. We recommend our result be refined by visiting the forest stands we identified to evaluate our classification rate and determine which stands are regenerating. In combination with regeneration information, our results can help better inform flood inundation modeling, which will help improve the efficacy of restoration design. Although we had some success using the best available information, to obtain more relevant observations, we recommend acquiring color infrared aerial imagery during the late fall season if providing detailed mapping of forest stands is a management priority. Imagery of this type collected in the fall, when trees may be distinguished by their differing senescence, has the potential to uniquely identify individual species or perhaps even individual trees. Gaining a better understanding of forest diversity and developing conservation strategies to preserve that diversity is timely because remaining aging trees, established before lock-and-dam installation on the Mississippi River, are nearing the end of their life expectancy.

Publication Year 2020
Title Remnant hardwood forest mapping within the Upper Mississippi River floodplain
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191089
Authors Jenny L. Hanson, Rich King, Erin E. Hoy
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1089
Index ID ofr20191089
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center