MAPPING LONGLEAF PINE RESTORATION USING GIS AT BIG THICKET NATIONAL PRESERVE
Longleaf Pine restoration has been the focus across the southeastern United States through various government agencies and nonprofits entities that are committed to restoring the habitat the Longleaf Pine once dominated. Big Thicket National Preserve located in Kountze, Texas is one of a few areas in Texas focusing these efforts of restoration. Currently Big Thicket has no accurate acreage of Longleaf Pine, no total acreage of current restoration areas, and no knowledge of where the Longleaf Pine can sustainably grow. Currently Big Thicket National Preserve has an estimated of less than 2,000 acres of Longleaf Pine (4). Big Thicket National Preserve has a potential for an estimated 18,000 acres of Longleaf Pine habitat based off historic Longleaf Pine GIS layer. Longleaf Pine restoration acreage at Big Thicket National Preserve is expected is expected increase. The preserve was analyzed using ArcGIS ArcMap10.2.2 and 10.3. Soil maps from SSURGO combined with topography LIDAR, canopy LIDAR, will be provided by Big Thicket National Preserve.
Soil Survey information (found in the attribute table) is important for a lot of reasons. Soils are the foundations for all plant communities and they impose what can grow. Soil depth, organic matter, texture, and parent material can affect regeneration and growth. Soil is created through the breakdown of material, as time passes geological materials (usually the parent material) breaks down and turns into soil. Data provided in soil attribute table included: hydrologic group dominant conditions (hydgrpdcd): A, B, C, D, or A/D, B/D, C/D, flooding conditions, frequency of flooding, soil drainage class for the wettest component, the available water storage, runoff potential of the soil, geometry of the soil survey, elevation and hillside slope angle.