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Wetlands

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 99–105 | Cite as

A comparison of hydric soils, wetlands, and land Use in coastal North Carolina

  • Kevin K. Moorhead
  • Allen E. Cook
Article

Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare hydric soils, wetlands, and land-use patterns for two counties in coastal North Carolina with a Geographic Information System. Soils were digitized from Soil Conservation Service county soil surveys, wetlands from National Wetland Inventory (NWI) maps, and land-use patterns from an environmental atlas of the coastal zone of North Carolina. The soils were consolidated into hydric mineral, hydric organic, and nonhydric soils for analysis. The areas of hydric soils were compared with wetlands or with land use to provide information on the relative distribution of wetland communities by soil type and conversions of wetlands into non-wetland areas by land use. Approximately 50 percent (87,650 ha) of the pre-settlement wetlands have been drained and converted to other uses. The conversions were more pronounced on hydric mineral soils. Conversions of wetlands for agricultural purposes accounted for 63 percent of wetland losses while conversions to pine plantations accounted for an additional 17 percent. Fifteen percent of the existing wetlands were in a state of transition to other land uses. This landscape-level approach complements detailed field studies that examine soil and plant relationships at individual field sites.

Key Words

GIS hydric soils land use National Wetlands Inventory soil survey wetland losses 

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Copyright information

© Society of Wetlands Scientists 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin K. Moorhead
    • 1
  • Allen E. Cook
    • 1
  1. 1.Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Drawer EAiken

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