Type of Document Dissertation Author Ueland, Jeffrey Scott Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-04042005-154423 Title Ecological Modeling and Human Dimensions of Mangrove Change in Florida Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Geography, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Jon Anthony Stallins Committee Chair Felicia C. Coleman Committee Member James B. Elsner Committee Member Thomas E. Miller Committee Member Xiaojun Yang Committee Member Keywords
- Environmental Policy
- Remote Sensing
- Ca-Markov Modeling
Date of Defense 2005-04-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractMangroves are coastal halophytes that tend to inhabit the low energy, tropical and sub-tropical coasts of the world. The mangrove habitats that occupy large swaths of the south Florida coastline are important habitats for a myriad of ecological and economic reasons. As such, the Florida legislature enacted the mangrove preservation act of 1996 to ensure the protection and proper trimming of these trees. Thus, the aim of this dissertation to is to examine the recent past, present, and one potential future spatial distribution of mangrove habitat in Florida. Inasmuch a combination of remote sensing, mail and web-base surveys, interviews, and spatial-temporal modeling are employed.
A remote sensing study of 14 southern counties in Florida was conducted to examine the change in mangrove cover between 1987 and 2000. Utilizing a combination of a Bayesian classification technique coupled with elevation data, a mangrove coverage map for both years was generated. The 2000 map exceeded 90% accuracy when compared with an aerial photo set generated from the same time period. The 1987 cover map did not have an accuracy component due to the absence of a corresponding photo set. The results demonstrated a 9% loss in mangrove cover during the time period.
An examination of citizens, regulators, and mangrove enforcement professionals was also undertaken. This was done to better understand the attitudes, opinions, and experiences of these groups relative to mangrove legislation and protection. Both citizens and regulators were posed a series of questions administered in a mail and web-based survey respectively. The results of the citizen surveys indicated very little difference in opinion between citizens living under different mangrove regulations. Both citizens and regulators were under the impression that things have improved in mangrove habitats in recent years, but destruction by homeowners was still an important problem. A series of demographic and information on each respondents experiences was also collected during this process. Additionally, open-ended interviews were conducted with those charged with mangrove protection. These interviews expressed an under-funding of mangrove and environmental protection in Florida. There was also an indication that mangrove enforcement personnel were succeeding in their efforts to inform and educate the public on mangrove protection but work remained to be done.
Lastly, a cellular automata – markov model was employed to examine a potential future scenario of mangrove distribution in Florida. This scenario was derived by examining past trends in mangrove change and projected changes in basic environmental and human driven factors. The end result demonstrates a projected loss of mangrove cover in the state over the next half century. However, these results should be seen as one potential discourse and a means to better understand the processes that drive changes and the trends produced by these changes instead of a inevitable deterministic fate. Likewise the modeling framework lends itself to alteration and expansion as other data becomes available or greater understanding of the process that drives the changes in mangrove distribution is uncovered.
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