Florida Stream Habitat Classification

This project developed a statewide stream habitat classification GIS data layer that is necessary for identifying existing and potential habitats of aquatic species.

This project employed Geographic Information System (GIS) models to rapidly evaluate and broadly describe streams based upon organizing and collating up-to-date statewide multi-scale spatial data, capable of characterizing aquatic species habitats. GIS applications are map-based tools that allow users to create searches, analyze geographic information, and create and edit digital maps. The primary data used to code the stream network included climate, ecoregions, ecological drainage units, watersheds, surface geology, landforms, soils, vegetation, and land cover.

The classification scheme used a set of hierarchical stream habitat, non-biological characteristics such as stream order, temperature, rainfall, stream bottom type and adjacent land use. It was assumed that these variables were correlated to the fine-scale stream characteristics important for aquatic species. The scheme involved the application of the stream habitat classification framework, developed by the Missouri Resource Assessment Partnership, to code the stream flowlines of the 1:24,000-scale National Hydrologic Dataset (NHD or digital stream network) for Florida.

The final Florida Stream Dataset (FSD) contains 3,106,943 stream segments with the total length of approximately 165,000 kilometers. The nested aquatic classification system describes each of those segments crossing landscape-level ecosystem/hydrologic units for freshwater areas. The freshwater aquatic habitat classification provides adequate detail for conducting ecological GIS modeling and large-scale statewide and ecoregional assessments, finer watershed level assessments, as well as assessments at a scale of individual stream segments.

These data may be obtained by downloading either a 292 MB archive or a 20 MB pdf version of the final report, by emailing GISRequests@MyFWC.com, or by calling (850) 488-0588.

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