Chickaloon Flats, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, is a 10,000 ha tidal mudflat complex on the Kenai Peninsula in southcentral Alaska. It is a protected coastal estuary stopover area along the Pacific Flyway, covering 7% of the total estuarine intertidal area from Cook Inlet to Prince William Sound. Because Chickaloon Flats is historically an important avian migratory stopover and has relative regional importance in terms of estuarine intertidal area, there was a need to evaluate the current vegetation and determine any changes since the last ground study in 1972. We collected land cover data at a sample of ground-truthed points on Chickaloon Flats during 2009–2010 to evaluate existing vegetation communities as compared to historic 1970–71 values. A maximum likelihood supervised classification was performed on 2005 Landsat TM imagery to create an updated land cover classification of Chickaloon Flats. We used two different analytical approaches to show that the most notable changes in land cover types from 1975–2005 were the increase in early successional communities and a decline in unvegetated mud. Additionally, inland land cover types, which represent the more stable marsh-like communities, decreased in area as a whole. The documented changes in vegetation composition and structure over the four decade study period are attributable to elevation changes from sediment accretion and post-1964 Earthquake subsidence. As a result, evidence points to reduced shorebird use of the Flats.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 93 • No. 1