Riparian ecosystems of the Southwestern United States are among the most productive ecosystems of North America. The rapid decline of these ecosystems throughout the United States, including the Lower Rio Grande Valley, has made riparian conservation a focal issue. This was a multidisciplinary study of riparian communities along the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Mexico. The objectives of this research project were to: (1) acquire and analyze high-resolution, remotely sensed data from multiple sensors; (2) integrate existing and new field data and remotely sensed data into a geographic information system (GIS); (3) ascertain whether the native vegetation communities are maintaining themselves and identify the topographic, edaphic, and other ecological factors that perpetuate these communities; (4) interprete spatial variations in riparian habitats, including comparisons of the north and south banks of the Rio Grande; (5) analyze temporal changes at specific locations; and (6) develop a foundation for future analysis of riparian floodplain communities by linking local and remotely sensed regional data using GIS.
Raney, Jay; Neuenschwander, Amy; Judd, Frank W.; Paull, Gene; Crawford, Melba; Lonard, Robert I.; Encheva, Tatiana; Tremblay, Thomas; and White, William, "Regional Ecological Resource Assessment of the Rio Grande Riparian Corridor: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding Anthropogenic Effects on Riparian Communities in Semi-arid Environments" (2004). Biology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 255.