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A few slides Greg Dillon might have chosen to present … Lessons learned on mapping NS ES. LANDFIRE Mapping Guiding Principles. Map-able Identifiable Scale-able Model-able. LANDFIRE project proposal:. “Map-able” Ecosystem Definitions according to NatureServe and The Nature Conservancy.

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A few slides Greg Dillon might have chosen to present … Lessons learned on mapping NS ES


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    1. A few slides Greg Dillon might have chosen to present …Lessons learned on mapping NS ES

    2. LANDFIRE Mapping Guiding Principles • Map-able • Identifiable • Scale-able • Model-able LANDFIRE project proposal:

    3. “Map-able” Ecosystem Definitions according to NatureServe and The Nature Conservancy • [NatureServe] Ecological systems represent recurring groups of biological communities that are found in similar physical environments and are influenced by similar dynamic ecological processes, such as fire or flooding. • [The Nature Conservancy] Dynamic assemblages of native plant and/or animal communities that 1) occur together on the landscape or in the water; and 2) are tied together by similar ecological processes (eg, fire, hydrology), underlying environmental features (eg, soils, geology) or environmental gradients (eg, elevation).

    4. How LANDFIRE describe ecological systems The environment: a suite of biophysical gradient layers that describe key controlling factors (e.g. climate) and responses (e.g. productivity) of ecosystems Spatial definition: at the coarsest spatial level of all vegetation maps, the ES is represented by ESP (Environmental Site Potential), mapped as spatial units of biophysical gradients assigned with indicator species Disturbance footprints: Biophysical Settings (BPS) represent spatially finer disturbance-maintained footprints of the coarser ESP ecosystem boundaries. Each BPS could be an NS ecosystem, or regarded as a subsystem of ESP Temporal dynamics: modeled and mapped state and pathways of succession (SCLASS , VDDT models) Existing conditions: mapped land use and current vegetation types and structure representing finer (comparable with BPS) spatial scale of NS ecosystems. Each EVT could be an NS ecosystem, or regarded as a subsystem of ESP Ecosystem functions and disturbances (fire, logging, etc.) modeled (VDDT and LANDSUM) and mapped explicitly (MTBS, LANDFIRE updating) Other ecosystem functions/services: part of LANDFIRE future vision for developing ecosystem monitoring capabilities

    5. EVT 182 total classes mapped to NS ES 83 forest, woodland, woody wetlands 51 mountain shrub, desert shrub, scrub 42 grassland, savanna, steppe 6 sparsely vegetated EVC 9 possible canopy cover classes separate for 3 life forms 10 percentage increments between 11 and 100% canopy cover Life form precedence: tree > shrub > herbaceous Existing Vegetation Mapped for Western Zones EVH • 5 possible forest height classes • 4 possible shrub height classes • 3 possible herbaceous height classes • Life form precedence: tree > shrub > herbaceous

    6. Comparison of NLCD, LANDFIRE & Gap 2001 Products (Cross-walked to NLCD Classes) SWGAP NLCD Landsat LANDFIRE

    7. Expected accuracy as functions of time and patch size

    8. Mapping Ecological Systems: Lessons Learned • Sensitive to statistical and geographic distribution patterns of input field plot data • Sensitive to spatial and information resolutions of input biophysical data • ES boundaries temporally dynamic, yet mapping processes are not nested to achieve temporal consistencies • Review process is important. It is implemented but is not given adequate time • Constant battle between splitter and lumper

    9. Maintaining Time-relevant National Vegetation Databases 2007 National GAP Conference September 2007 Zhiliang Zhu, Matt Rollins U.S. Geological Survey, US Forest Service

    10. Land and Vegetation Cover NLCD1992 NLCD2001

    11. A Typical Mapping Project Timeline Data out of date, useless, etc. Prototype cut short, onto full production Inactions …… A lot will have changed … Prototype funded Project proposed

    12. LANDFIRE Timeline 2009, data out of date, useless, etc. 2004, prototype cut short, onto full production Inactions …… A lot will have changed … 2003, prototype funded 2001, project proposed

    13. Changes That Render National Land Data Less Useful, or Useless Land management Defoliations and beetle kills Fire Wind storm Cheat grass

    14. Annual Areas of Detectable Changes Data sources: fire (NIFC), fuel treatments (NFPORS), forest harvest (FIA), I&D (Forest Service FHM)

    15. Challenges to Keep Up with the Land Cover Changes • Cost of mapping • Agency commitments • Accuracy concerns • Satellite data and field reference data availability

    16. Central Question Can we: • detect land cover changes, • capture and characterize them, • maintain an up-to-date national land/vegetation cover database • and • doing the above on an annual or biennial basis?

    17. Goal for the Current USGS-LANDFIRE Research A national disturbance monitoring approach to capture and update ~ 25 acre (or more) annual changes.

    18. Technical Progress: National Mapping of Fire Severity • USFS-USGS project, annual fire mapping • Nationwide, all fires (meeting minimum size requirement) • Calibrated to ecosystem variables

    19. 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 .5 0.0 -.5 -200 -100 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 National Fire Severity Assessment Regional Summary Plot CBI Total Extended Assessment dNBR N Rsq. N. Rockies 1000 .721 Southwest 580 .728 California 407 .691 Alaska 262 .799 Southeast 106 .760 Total 2355 .657

    20. Technical Progress: Forest Cuts (University of Maryland-LANDFIRE Study) Forest land, no change Example of a Mississippi Test Area Forest land, cut in 88

    21. Oregon Test Site Example 1: 1995 Cut

    22. Oregon Test Example 2: Thinning in 2001

    23. Technical Progress: I&D Mortalities San Pedro Wilderness Area USGS EROS (J. Vogelmann)

    24. Technical Progress: Annual Grass Flush (USGS Brad Reed)

    25. LANDFIRE Biennial Updating Capture major change areas Vegetation transition New vegetation, fuels, FRCC Projection/ prediction

    26. Northern Rocky Mountains Grizzly Bear Habitat Assessment

    27. USGS/USFS Glacier NP StudyBurn Severity and Vegetation from Remote Sensing

    28. Vegetation Transition

    29. Findings to Date • Major land cover changes can be reliably detected, mapped, and characterized • Research is still needed to: • Understand and enhance change mapping precision and accuracy • Develop robust and accuracy disturbance transition • Automate as much procedures as possible • It is possible to base LANDFIRE updating on such an integrated system, on either annual or biennial basis

    30. Challenges • Adequate research be given to work out details • Program/project cooperation (e.g. the MTBS project) • Continuity of Landsat or similar land satellite data

    31. Maintaining Time-relevant National Vegetation Databases Questions?