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Accession Number 5004487

Title Effects of impoundment management on vegetation change on Moosehorn NWR


Project Description Intensive counts of waterfowl broods were performed by quite observation during June and July of

1984 and 1985 (J.R. Longcore, unpubl. data). At that time all managed wetlands on Moosehorn

National Widlife Refuge were classified with the National Wetlands Inventory System (Cowardin et

al. 1979) and amount of surface water was determined along with hectares of life forms of

vegetation. Nearly 200 (152 to 192) waterfowl broods (mostly canada geese 147 and 50 and

American black duck 53 and 44)were counted those years. Since that time vegetation in Howard

Mill Pond, Lower Magurrewock, and Lower Barn Meadow has been manipulated, and two new

wetlands have been constructed (i.e., Hatton, Seeley Flowages). Marsh bird use data are available

for 32 of the largest impoundments along with basic water chemistry (Gibbs et al. 1991). Refuge

managers have an interest in evaluating the effects of habitat manipulation on use by duck broods

and other marsh birds (e.g., herons, bitterns, grebes, shorebirds). It is of interest to document

changes in vegetation during the past 15 years of management at the refuge. It is timely inasmuch

as water control structures on the larger impoundment complexes were replaced in 1999-2000

and a study of invertebrates and shorebirds is being initiated. Abundance of aquatic invertebrates

is influenced by vegetative structure, stem density, and differences in plant species, thus this

study to update impoundment vegetation maps is relevant to other ongoing work at the refuge.

This two-year study will be a M.S. study by a minority graduate student and Patuxent personnel

will serve in a mentoring role. Existing USGS wetland data for Moosehorn NWR will be available to

the student as benchmark data for comparison.

Keywords gis mapping, impoundments, moosehorn nwr, vegetation,

Principal Cynthia Loftin, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:


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