By: Elisabeth Stimmel and Diane Menuz
Wetlands in Utah’s Central Basin and Range ecoregion are threatened by many external pressures, not the smallest of which is an overarching lack of information about their current functions and conditions. The Utah Geological Survey is working to better understand and assess these vital ecosystems through monitoring and data collection efforts, including creating a new potential method for evaluating wetland function and condition using plant community data. In this report, we compile plant traits related to disturbance tolerance and ability to perform functions such as wildlife habitat provisioning and water quality improvement. These data can then be used to assign functional and stressor sensitivity scores to wetland sites using plant community composition data. These wetland site scores can then be compared to data collected in the field to evaluate how accurately the scores might predict wetland conditions or functionality.
Media Type: Paper report