A GIS Methodology for Generating Riparian Tree Planting Recommendations
The purpose of this study was to develop a method for determining optimal planting recommendations for bottomlands and riparian buffer strips within a geographic information system (GIS) framework. The specific objective of this study was the development of a decision support model to generate riparian tree-planting recommendations based on site characteristics. Unlike previous research, this study enhances the usefulness of conventional site evaluation guides by incorporating digital soil surveys and other spatial data at a level of detail and automation previously unavailable. Research was conducted in the Cypress Creek Quadrangle, southern Illinois, and planting recommendations were generated for eight bottomland hardwood species. Model results were consistent with accepted silvicultural recommendations. Species were consistently placed within sites most suitable for each individual's requirements, and as a result, model recommendations should produce riparian forests optimizing growth potential. By adopting this approach, more productive forest cover could be established while concurrently reducing costs associated with on-site evaluations.
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