, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 149–160 | Cite as

Mapping Geographically Isolated Wetlands in the Dougherty Plain, Georgia, USA

  • Glenn I. Martin
  • L. Katherine Kirkman
  • Jeffrey Hepinstall-Cymerman


Increasing interest in isolated wetlands requires an understanding of the location, spatial extent, and configuration of the resource. The National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) is the most commonly used data source for this information; however, the accuracy is limited in some contexts, e.g., agricultural, seasonally-ponded, or forested wetlands. This study sought to improve isolated wetland mapping accuracy by integrating currently available NWI maps with other geospatial data sources (i.e., Soil Survey Geographic Database [SSURGO], Digital Raster Graphics [DRGs], and Digital Elevation Models [DEMs]). Relative to NWI, the optimal model (combining data derived from NWI, SSURGO, and DRGs) identified 1,874 additional isolated wetlands and 19,737-ha of additional isolated wetland area. A remote accuracy assessment indicated a high degree of accuracy for the optimal model (Kappa = 0.88, Sensitivity = 90%, and Specificity = 98%), as compared to NWI maps (Kappa = 0.70, Sensitivity = 68%, and Specificity = 99%). Small wetlands (< 4-ha) dominated the wetland population and reduced nearest neighbor distances between wetlands. Isolated wetlands were clustered and clustering was strongest among larger wetlands. This study identified a framework for improving the accuracy of wetland maps and serves as a foundation for ongoing wetland studies within the Dougherty Plain.


Depressional wetlands National Wetlands Inventory Wetland mapping 



This research was funded by the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, and the D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. The efforts of Stephen W. Golladay, Jean Brock, Liz Cox, the Plant Ecology and Aquatic Ecology Laboratories at Ichauway, and two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated.

Supplementary material

13157_2011_263_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (142 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 142 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn I. Martin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • L. Katherine Kirkman
    • 2
  • Jeffrey Hepinstall-Cymerman
    • 3
  1. 1.URS CorporationGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research CenterNewtonUSA
  3. 3.Warnell School of Forest ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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