Wetland Monitoring & Assessment

Wetland Monitoring & Assessment

CPCS examine the three primary components of a wetland: hydrology, soil and vegetation.  We further break these down into specific measurable traits/functional groups. Measuring functional group diversity and individual species characteristics is a very complex process and can vary between same genus and species. However, there is a need for wetland plants to be grouped according to specific traits, as they are not equal in their specialized capacity in terms of sediment control, moisture use, adaptation to wet environments, habitat provision, and capacity to withstand disturbance.

We have merged data collection such as multiple indicator methodology (MIM), Rosgen stream assessment, and Proper Functioning Condition Assessments (PFC), are merged with our innovate rating and ranking system of plant functional traits, to create innovative and scientifically driven site assessment and analysis to evaluate and measure the resiliency and functionality of all wetlands within a designated catchment. We utilize a diversity of scientific tools and technologies to collect and analyze past and present data.

***We use collected field data to further scientific understanding and research on wetland plants as they relate to wetland function and resiliency. Collected plant data is added to our database of over 1200 plant species commonly found in wetlands in the southwestern U.S.  We use our collected data along with background data on plants from other sources such as the USDA to draw conclusions about wetland plant functions.

Clients may select any or all of the following for data collection forms. Final product consists of a comprehensive report detailing data collected, methods, maps and analysis of wetlands throughout the area of interest.

Data collection and assessments:

  1. CPCS designed plant functional type data collection and analysis.
    • Protocol follows MIM collection processes for riparian areas (lotic systems).
    • Protocol for lentic systems is done using line point transects that bisect the wetland from North to South and East to west from identified wetland boundary to boundary.
    • CPCS plant field data collected: Plant root information is randomly sampled and analyzed using Regent Instruments (WinRHIZO) throughout with each dominant species analyzed at least one time.
      • Root length (herbaceous species only) – quantifiable
      • Root diameter (herbaceous species only) – quantifiable
      • Stem density – quantifiable
      • Root volume – (herbaceous only) quantifiable
      • Fine root hair abundance – qualitative estimation
      • Clonality – identified form
      • Stem growth form – identified for herbaceous as (single, loosely cespitose, cespitose, and densely cespitose)
      • basal area formation – identified primarily for sedges as (phyllopodic, slightly aphyllopodic, somewhat aphyllopodic and aphyllopodic)
      • Height (actual measurement for herbaceous species, estimation for woody species using MIM protocol)
      • Colony formation (herbaceous species only) – qualitative rating based on site density
  2. Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) includes designated monitoring area (DMA) selection using MIM protocol. Long term ecological monitoring data collection and site selection.
  3. Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) qualitative assessments for lentic and lotic systems. This is only done by request of land manager.
  4. Rosgen Natural Channel Design Phase III assessment only.