Using photographic image analysis to assess ground cover: a case study of forest road cutbanks
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Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 163: 685-698.
Road prisms, including cutbanks, road surfaces, and fillslopes, can be important contributors of sediment to streams in forested watersheds. Following road construction, cutbanks and fillslopes are often seeded, mulched, and sometimes fertilized to limit erosion and sedimentation. Assessing the success of vegetation establishment on cutbanks and fillslopes is a common task of forested land managers. This study developed and applied a photographic image analysis method to assess percent ground cover along an entire cutbank of a cut-and-fill haul road in the Monongahela National Forest in Tucker County, West Virginia. Variable-sized sections were employed to quantify the vegetative cover. Measurements obtained by this technique were similar to more commonly applied fixed-area plots, and it proved to be a useful tool for land managers who require a more repeatable quantification of ground cover than is possible through visual assessments.
Keywordsaspect cut slope best management practices road prism revegetation variable-sized sampling areas
Bold, Kevin C.; Wood, Frederica; Edwards, Pamela J.; Williard, Karl W.J.; Schoonover, Jon E. 2009. Using photographic image analysis to assess ground cover: a case study of forest road cutbanks. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. DOI 10.1007/s10661-009-0868-y.