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Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetland Rapid Assessment Method (MidTRAM) v4.1

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Developer

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Virginia Institute of Marine
Sciences

Latest documentation

2017

Designed for use in

Delaware, USA

Ongoing

Yes

Assessment purpose

Condition

Assessment criteria

Physical and chemical, Management and planning, Flora

Method type

Field

Timescale

Rapid term – MidTRAM field assessment should typically take a trained crew of two people roughly two hours to complete.

Scale

Site/habitat

Wetland system

Estuarine

Description and method logic

Method purpose

The MidTRAM is designed for assessing the condition of estuarine tidal wetlands at the watershed level using probabilistic survey.

Summary

The Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetland Rapid Assessment Method (MidTRAM) is a technique designed for assessing the condition of estuarine tidal wetlands based on 3 major attributes (a) buffer, b) hydrology and c) habitat (plant community)). The MidTRAM is based on the metrics developed for the California Rapid Assessment Methodology and for the New England Rapid Assessment Method. This version is an update to version 3.0 (2010).

Method logic

Preparation for MidTRAM field assessment requires the preparation of field maps, landowner liaison, and the classification of wetlands for assessment using a wetland key.

The location of assessment areas within a tidal wetland is either a) determined randomly by using a probabilistic sampling method or b) determined subjectively using predetermined selection criteria. Subplots are defined depending on the dimensions of the assessment area.

MidTRAM separates three major wetland attributes, a) buffer, b) hydrology and c) habitat (plant community). These attributes are comprised of several metrics each which are scored between 3 and 12. The final attribute score is expressed as a percentage. Final MidTRAM condition scores range from 0-100.

Criteria groupings of the method

MidTRAM assessment criteria are designed for rapid appraisal and are based on the following:
a) buffer, b) hydrology and c) habitat (plant community).

Data required

  • Field maps
  • Supporting information
  • Land use data
  • Habitat data
  • Hydrology data
  • Buffer and landscape data
  • Aerial photographs.

Resources required

Expertise required

MidTRAM should be completed by practitioners who have completed a training course on how to properly perform the method. Experience and/or education in wetland classification and assessment, and native flora and soil properties is desired. Users of this method should have experience in the identification of tidal wetlands, an understanding of the various stressors that impact different wetland types, native flora of the region, and soil properties.

Materials required

Access to supporting maps and information and land access. General survey equipment is required, as well as provisions for measuring vegetation, soil and hydrology attributes.

Method outputs

Outputs

  • MidTRAM score/100
  • Attribute score/100 (buffer, hydrology and habitat (plant community)

Uses

  • Coastal management
  • Estuarine and marine assessment
  • Broadscale monitoring and assessment
  • Decision support
  • Conservation prioritisation.

Criteria by category

    Physical and chemical

    • Buffer/landscape
      • Altered and High Impact Land Use
      • Barriers to Landward Migration
      • Percent of Assessment Area Perimeter with 10m Buffer
    • Habitat
      • Bearing capacity of soil
    • Hydrology
      • Ditching and excavation
      • Fill
      • Point Sources-for freshwater tidal sites only
      • Wetland Diking/ Tidal Restriction

    Management and planning

    • Buffer
      • Altered and high impact landuse
      • Natural Land Uses in Buffer

    Flora

    • Habitat
      • Horizontal vegetative obstruction
      • Number of plant layers
      • Percent invasive co-dominants
      • Percent invasive cover
      • Plant community

Review

Recommended user

Practitioners of MidTRAM should have completed a training course on how to properly use the method. They should ideally have experience or qualifications in the field of tidal wetland management, and be able to identify stressors, native flora and soil properties of the region where assessment is carried out.

Strengths

  • Rapid assessment
  • Can complement DERAP and/or DECAP for broader landscape assessments.

Limitations

  • Does not deliver a comprehensive assessment
  • Conditional only - does not measure opportunity or services
  • Does not contain provisions for sea level rise or sustainability.

Case studies

(not documented)

Links


References

  1. Rogerson, A, McLaughlin, E & Havens, K (2010), Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetland Rapid Assessment Method Version 3.0.. [online], Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Water Resources, Dover, DE, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Riparian and Wetland Restoration Services, Annapolis, MD and Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Centre, Gloucester Point, VA.. Available at: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/DelawareWetlands/Documents/Tidal%20Rapid_Protocol%203.0%20Jun10.pdf.

Last updated: 7 February 2019

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2019) Mid-Atlantic Tidal Wetland Rapid Assessment Method (MidTRAM) v4.1, WetlandInfo website, accessed 13 May 2021. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/resources/tools/assessment-search-tool/mid-atlantic-tidal-wetland-rapid-assessment-method-midtram-v4-1/

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science