GIS Used to Study Invasive Weed Abundance in Wisconsin Watershed


Nina Borchowiec and Amanda Little.

Presented at the 36th Natural Areas Conference, “Living on the Edge: Why Natural Areas Matter”, Vancouver, Washington, USA, September 15-18, 2009.

P. arundinacea is a weed that grows invasively across North America. It suppresses native vegetation, ultimately reducing ecological diversity. Knowing how P. arundinacea responds to landscape attributes will help determine how to monitor and manage it. We related P. arundinacea abundance from a statewide data layer created by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. ArcGIS 9.2 was used to calculate the proportions of different soil surface textures, drainage classes, and land-cover types in each watershed to determine NRCS 12-digit watershed characteristics that influenced the abundance of P. arundinacea in wetlands of the Lower Chippewa River Watershed, Wisconsin, USA.

To reduce the number of covarying attributes, we used non-metric multidimensional scaling to create composite variables. We used multiple linear regression to relate these variables to wetland P. arundinacea abundance, as a percentage of wetland land cover dominated by P. arundinacea.

One surface texture and one drainage class variable predicted P. arundinacea abundance (log(y) = 1.23 + 0.467drainvar1 – 0.166surftexvar2, R2 = 29.5%, P < 0.001). Synthetic land cover variables were not significant predictors. Relationships between individual predictors and synthetic variables indicate that P. arundinacea is more abundant in wetland watersheds with more wetland-type muck soils and less abundant with substantial open water. These findings indicate that agriculture may not be a strong driver of P. arundinacea abundance at the watershed level. P. arundinacea is not found in watersheds with somewhat excessively drained fine sandy loam, although it‘s uncertain whether this is a function of the soil properties or associated topographic constraints.

New Book: Research Trends in Geographic Information Science

research_trendsIn June/July 2008, the Institute for Geoinformation and Cartography at the Vienna University of Technology organized a scientific colloquium where 15 well-known scientists presented their ideas on research for the upcoming decade. This book contains papers prepared by the participants as well as by other researchers. The eighteen papers in this book reflect the opinion of a core group of Geoinformation scientists about future research topics. Dealing with these topics poses multiple research questions for the coming years.

Papers include:

  • Ontology, Epistemology, teleology: Triangulating Geographic Information Science
  • Geonoemata Elicited: Concepts, Objects, and Other Uncertain Geographic things
  • Virtue Ethics for GIS Professionals
  • Why Is Scale an Effective Descriptor for Data Quality? The Physical and Ontological Rationale for Imprecision and Level of Detail
  • Semantic Engineering
  • A Common Spatial Model for GIS
  • Computation with Imprecise Probabilities
  • Spatial Data Quality: Problems and Prospects
  • Latent Analysis as a Potential Method for Integrating Data Concepts
  • Stereology for Multitemporal Images with an Application to Flooding
  • Modeling Spatiotemporal Paths for Single Moving Objects
  • Moving Objects in Databases and GIS: State-of-the-Art and Open problems
  • The Degree of Distribution of Random Planar Graphs
  • Geographical Information Engineering in the 21st Century
  • Towards Visual Summaries of Geographic Databases Based on Chorems
  • Intelligent Spatial Communication
  • Training Games and GIS
  • Cadastre and Economic Development

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Map of the Day: Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering Applications of GIS

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“This map summarizes some of the major GIS developments in the past few years of AECOM Asia. It illustrates the customization work done by using the MapObjects and ArcObjects techniques. Customized GIS applications for habitat mapping, natural landslide searching, air pollutant monitoring, and utility map printing were developed to facilitate engineering work. Also presented are 3D geological and landscape simulation results for different study areas in mainland China and Hong Kong.

“Courtesy of AECOM Asia.”