SDE Feature Class
San Diego County, California, Mission Trails Regional Park, vegetation mapping, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, biota, resource management plan, environment
These vegetation mapping projects were conducted to support MSCP compliance requirements and to provide baseline data for Resource Management Plans. In addition, vegetation mapping at Mission Trails was conducted to identify vegetation communities and locations of potential MSCP covered species habitat, potential weed issues and management/restoration areas; and to provide geographic information system (GIS)-based data to assist in management at MTRP.
Vegetation mapping has been conducted at various City of San Diego Park and Recreation Open Space lands in support of natural resource management objectives and the City's MSCP. In 2004, vegetation mapping and sensitive species surveys were conducted at the Tecolote Canyon Natural Park by HELIX Environmental Planning, Inc. (HELIX) to establish baseline data for the park's Natural Resource Management Plan. RECON Environmental conducted vegetation mapping at Mission Trails Regional Park (MTRP) in 2008 in support of the MSCP. This dataset was compiled as part of the Southern California Data Integration Project. Vegetation mapping (including mapping of exotic species) of Tecolote Canyon was conducted in the spring of 2004 on georeferenced aerial photos (flown January 2003; scale 1"=200'; Andrea Bitterling, pers. comm.). Vernal pools and rare plants were mapped with a GPS, with accuracy of approximately 1 meter. RECON biologists mapped the vegetation in MTRP between March 18 and April 24, 2008. A three-fold approach to vegetation mapping at MTRP was taken: reviewing historical biological information, mapping potential vegetation communities using aerial photographs, and conducting field mapping. Prior to conducting the field work, existing GIS data from the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB), vegetation data from SanGIS, and vernal pool data from the City of San Diego were all examined. In addition, aerial photographs from 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2007 were reviewed to assist with vegetation identification. Digital orthorectified aerial images with 1-foot resolution, taken in 2007, were carefully reviewed on a computer monitor and on printed maps prior to field surveys to identify unique color and shape patterns of exotic species and to distinguish stands (polygons) to be mapped in the field. These photographs, with preliminary stand overlays, were used to create field maps for MTRP. The field maps were used to confirm and map vegetation communities identified in the field. Field mapping consisted of driving or hiking to all areas in the MTRP. Areas identified as a homogeneous vegetation community stand in the field were mapped as individual polygons (CNPS 2004). Homogenous stands ranged in size from 0.25 acre to hundreds of acres. Most of the homogeneous stands were large, making it difficult to summarize the species composition, cover, and structure of an entire stand. Sampling of representative portions of large stands was performed using the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Rapid Assessment Method to determine the species composition and cover class for characteristic plant species within each stand. Sampling consisted of selecting a representative area, walking through the area, and identifying characteristic species present, qualitatively estimating cover for each characteristic species and using binoculars to scan the entire stand to confirm that it was homogenous. Occasionally, stands were inaccessible, precluding direct observations. In these cases, estimations were made using aerial photographs, binoculars, and best judgment of the biologists. Following field mapping, all collected data was reviewed in the office to determine a vegetation series classification, vegetation alliance and where applicable, an association (Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf classification). The series, alliance, and association were used to name all vegetation communities mapped at MTRP. Several factors limited data collection at MTRP. Primarily these included species phenology and some areas with difficult access. Native or invasive plant species apparent at the time of the surveys were noted and classified. Due to differences in phenology of many species, plants apparent or obvious outside of the early spring survey period may not have been identified. References Andrea Bitterling, HELIX. 2009. Personal Communication, 2009. RECON. 2009. Report for Phase I of the Resource Management Plan for Mission Trails Regional Park, City of San Diego. Prepared for City of San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, January 7, 2009.
City of San Diego, Parks and Recreation Division
Recommended Citation: City of San Diego Parks and Recreation. (2010). CitySDParksRec_vegetationmap [ds XXX]. Digital Data. Biogeographic Information and Observation System (BIOS). Retrieved on DATE from http://bios.dfg.ca.gov .