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U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3169

Phreatophytic Land-Cover Map of the Northern and Central Great Basin Ecoregion: California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming

By Amy M. Mathie, Toby L. Welborn, David D. Susong, and Mary L. Tumbusch

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (25.2 MB)Abstract

Increasing water use and changing climate in the Great Basin of the western United States are likely affecting the distribution of phreatophytic vegetation in the region. Phreatophytic plant communities that depend on groundwater are susceptible to natural and anthropogenic changes to hydrologic flow systems. The purpose of this report is to document the methods used to create the accompanying map that delineates areas of the Great Basin that have the greatest potential to support phreatophytic vegetation. Several data sets were used to develop the data displayed on the map, including Shrub Map (a land-cover data set derived from the Regional Gap Analysis Program) and Gap Analysis Program (GAP) data sets for California and Wyoming. In addition, the analysis used the surface landforms from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Global Ecosystems Mapping Project data to delineate regions of the study area based on topographic relief that are most favorable to support phreatophytic vegetation. Using spatial analysis techniques in a GIS, phreatophytic vegetation classes identified within Shrub Map and GAP were selected and compared to the spatial distribution of selected landforms in the study area to delineate areas of phreatophyte vegetation. Results were compared to more detailed studies conducted in selected areas. A general qualitative description of the data and the limitations of the base data determined that these results provide a regional overview but are not intended for localized studies or as a substitute for detailed field analysis. The map is intended as a decision-support aide for land managers to better understand, anticipate, and respond to ecosystem changes in the Great Basin.

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For additional information:
Contact Information, Western Geographic Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Road, MS 531
Menlo Park, California 94025

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Suggested citation:

Mathie, A.M., Welborn, T.L., Susong, D.D., and Tumbusch, M.L., 2011, Phreatophytic land-cover map of the northern and central Great Basin Ecoregion: California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3169, scale 1,150,000, 10 p.

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