Walt Dineen Society Annual Conference '97
|Session II: Environmental Management
||Abstract #: 97201
SPATIALLY EXPLICIT ENVIRONMENTAL DATABASES: AN INTEGRATED TOOL FOR PROTECTION OF NATURAL AREAS
Dianne Owen1, Frank J. Mazzotti1, Carol Morgenstern 2, and Jack Makemson 3
1Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, 3245 College Avenue, Davie, FL, 33314
2Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, 100 NW 38th Street, Oakland Park, FL, 33309
3Imtech, 11751 NW 12th Street, Pembroke Pines, FL, 33026
Readily accessible information about the location and spatial relationship of resources in urban natural areas is vital to the successful management of these fragmented, isolated and frequently disturbed habitat patches. Recent developments in geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) have allowed for the development of methods to collect, manage, manipulate and display spatially referenced geographic data. For natural area managers the significance of knowing where resources are located, or where activities (e.g. management or recreational) are taking place is apparent. The challenges are: how to simplify a complicated technology so that it is easily applied and how to structure the diverse information gathered into an appropriate relational database.
To meet these challenges a spatially explicit environmental database (SEED) has been created in Broward County, Florida, as part of an Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) Program. A GIS/GPS platform was developed using PC-based SPANS GIS software, PCI EASI/PACE image analysis software and a Trimble Pro XL GPS with Pathfinder software. Traditional GIS coverages including soils, topography, hydrology and land cover formed the base layers upon which features such as archaeological resources, historical land cover, listed species , management areas and monitoring stations were mapped. Monitoring stations included photo plots and integrated vegetation (species composition and horizontal and vertical structure) and faunal (birds, butterflies and their habitat relations) sampling. The Flamingo Road ESL site SEED was used as a tool to minimize the potential impacts of human use on sensitive resources by analyzing the spatial relationships among plant communities, archaeological sites, soils and wildlife populations.