Barrier island geomorphology and seabeach amaranth metrics at 50-m alongshore transects, and 5-m cross-shore points for 2008 — Assateague Island, MD and VA.

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Description Understanding how sea-level rise will affect coastal landforms and the species and habitats they support is critical for developing approaches that balance the needs of humans and native species. Given this increasing need to forecast sea-level rise effects on barrier islands in the near and long terms, we are developing Bayesian networks to evaluate and to forecast the effects of sea-level rise on shoreline change, barrier island geomorphology, and habitat availability for species such as piping plover (Charadrius melodus) and seabeach amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus). We use publicly available data products, such as lidar, orthophotography, and vegetation/substrate maps to extract metrics of barrier island characteristics for Assateague Island National Seashore. The metrics are used to conduct statistical analyses and used to training and test probabilistic models developed for barrier island systems. This data release contains the extracted metrics of barrier island geomorphology, and field collected species information (amaranth) that are input to Bayesian networks to evaluate the occurrence probabilities for a suite of barrier island characteristics and ultimately habitat suitability. While the data presented here samples conditions at Assateague Island National Seashore in 2008, this work is one component of a larger research and management program that seeks to understand the future states of barrier island systems and resulting impacts to coastal habitat driven by sea-level rise. [More]
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