Hunting for Hidden Wetlands: An Exploratory Geospatial Analysis to Identify Depressional Wetlands in the Sandhills Game Lands in North Carolina

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2023-04-27

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In the Sandhills Game Lands of North Carolina, non-floodplain depressional wetlands are vital habitat for amphibian populations in conservation need. As such, it is imperative these landscape features be identified to ensure appropriate conservation and management. Non-floodplain depressional wetlands are ephemeral bowl-shaped wetlands that lack surface water connectivity to other bodies of water. These wetlands have been historically difficult to detect due to their small size and short periods of inundation. Recent research has shown that successful identification of these wetlands can be done using remote sensing and geospatial analysis. This project used a rule-based model and a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model developed in ESRI ArcGIS Pro to create maps of potential non-floodplain depressional wetlands within the Sandhills Game Lands. Both models used topographic, vegetation, and wetness indices combined with known locations of existing wetlands to identify roughly 211 distinct non-floodplain depressional wetlands within the study area. Knowledge of these wetland locations can inform local land management, though predicted wetland locations should be validated in the field for accuracy.

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Paparone, Natalie A (2023). Hunting for Hidden Wetlands: An Exploratory Geospatial Analysis to Identify Depressional Wetlands in the Sandhills Game Lands in North Carolina. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27159.

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