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Using GRASS GIS to Model Solar Irradiation on North Carolina Aquatic Habitats with Canopy Data

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Sunlight can have a significant impact on freshwater aquatic communities. Using 64‐ bit GRASS, a previously generated 18.2 m resolution forest canopy height grid for the State of North Carolina was used as a base elevation layer for calculation of 18.2 m resolution total irradiance (Watt‐hours/square meter/day) grids for 365 days of the year. Daily calculations were aggregated annually and overlaid on rasterized 1:24,000‐scale USGS hydrology with canopy type and seasonal filters to quantify annual solar irradiation input to streams and rivers in North Carolina. Bare earth calculations of solar irradiation for the aquatic habitats were compared to the canopy filtered calculations. There was substantially less solar irradiation in aquatic habitats under the canopy filtered model. Total solar irradiation for subbasins created from point locations of occurrences of Dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon) were compared with total solar irradiation for watersheds created from locations with no mussels for the full subbasin, 1 km, and 500 m upstream from the sampling point. There was no significant difference in the amount of total solar irradiation modeled for the subbasins with Dwarf wedgemussel and watersheds with no mussels.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Department of Interior, Raleigh, North Carolina

Publication date: 2012-04-01

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