Title

American Chestnut Reintroduction in Daniel Boone National Forest: a GIS Approach

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Wildlife and Conservation Biology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Howard Whiteman, PhD; Jane Benson, MS; Christie Wampler, CWB; Haluk Cetin, PhD.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Before chestnut blight drove it to functional extinction, the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) was a major player in Appalachian deciduous forest ecology. Chestnut restoration is crucial to restoring natural functions in the areas where they were extirpated, but restoration practices must match the functionality of genetically modified, blight resistant chestnuts. Which areas are most suitable and would be most efficient for restoration efforts? I created habitat models of Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) to answer this using both raster and vector overlays in the GIS software, ArcMap. Map layers were utilized based on importance as determined from literature. The finished maps suggest areas that would be most suitable for C. dentata reintroduction and restoration within DBNF. These maps will allow wildlife biologists and conservationists in and around DBNF to make wise decisions when functional American Chestnuts are finally ready to be reintroduced.

Spring Scholars Week 2018 Event

Watershed Research Institute Symposium

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American Chestnut Reintroduction in Daniel Boone National Forest: a GIS Approach

Before chestnut blight drove it to functional extinction, the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) was a major player in Appalachian deciduous forest ecology. Chestnut restoration is crucial to restoring natural functions in the areas where they were extirpated, but restoration practices must match the functionality of genetically modified, blight resistant chestnuts. Which areas are most suitable and would be most efficient for restoration efforts? I created habitat models of Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) to answer this using both raster and vector overlays in the GIS software, ArcMap. Map layers were utilized based on importance as determined from literature. The finished maps suggest areas that would be most suitable for C. dentata reintroduction and restoration within DBNF. These maps will allow wildlife biologists and conservationists in and around DBNF to make wise decisions when functional American Chestnuts are finally ready to be reintroduced.