Park Service Vegetation Mapping Inventory Program (NPS-VMP) funded
the NPS South Florida / Caribbean Network (SFCN) to map Buck Island
of Buck Island Reef National Monument in 2007. The project was completed
in 2009. SFCN established a cooperative agreement with Florida International
University for the Resource Management Intern Program with one of
the deliverables being development of a vegetation map of Buck Island
Reef National Monument.
The Buck Island
vegetation map was made in UTM, NAD 83, zone 20N coordinates with
a minimum mapping unit of 400m2. Photointerpretation was based on
aerial imagery of a single U.S. Army Corps of Engineers natural
color GeoTIFF orthophoto acquired as part of a larger collection
in 2006-2007. SFCN field tests indicate that the horizontal accuracy
(RMSE) of the aerial image to be approximately 2.2m.
The final vegetation map has a total of 26 mapping classes and 51 polygons. A vegetation key
and classification were generated as part of the project which included four proposed new
Alliances, and 11 new Associations. The vegetation classification system was created based on vegetation physiognomic class, Caribbean Formations from Areces-Mallea et al. (1999), U.S. Virgin Islands Sub-formations from Gibney et al. (2000), and Alliances/Associations defined by the SFCN based on data from vegetation plots and field notes.
Also included are: a photo-interpretation key, a list of vegetation species observed in the field
during this project, a vegetation species photo guide for Buck Island Reef National Monument,
field data sheets, and reference literature. Ninety-two percent of the polygons either had
vegetation data collection or were directly visited and confirmed; consequently SFCN concluded the map meets the NPS-VMP requirement of 80% accuracy with 90% confidence. The final product meets the FGDC metadata standard.
Please cite this publication as:
Moser, J. G., K. R. T. Whelan, R. B. Shamblin, A. J. Atkinson, J. M. Patterson. 2010.
Buck Island Reef National Monument, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vegetation Mapping Project, 2009. Natural Resource Technical Report. NPS/SFCN/NRTR�2010/293.
National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.