Wetlands along the Texas Coast are important for waterfowl to successfully meet energy requirements over winter. I estimated dietary energy from food resources for wintering waterfowl in freshwater wetlands within the Gulf Coast Joint Venture (GCJV) Laguna Madre Initiative Area (LMIA). My results demonstrated no significant difference in biomass or dietary energy among five sampled wetland types. I calculated that freshwater wetlands in the LMIA may provide 13.1 billion kJ of dietary energy for wintering waterfowl. This is less than the 19.6 billion kJ that the GCJV has estimated is necessary to support target waterfowl populations in the LMIA, which may provide evidence of potential habitat deficiencies for wintering waterfowl in this region, or that this deficit may be due to not documenting all available food sources in this study. I conducted a pilot study for delineating marsh types along the Texas coast. Using a helicopter survey and remote sensing, I classified coastal marsh types in two counties within the Texas Mid-Coast into four categories: fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline. My finalized classification yielded an overall accuracy of 77.2% which will provide a framework for further delineation efforts.
July 20, 2015
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