Standardization of Terrestrial and Wetland Habitat Classification and Mapping
Critically Evaluating Existing Methods and Supporting a Standardization of Terrestrial and Wetland Habitat Classification and Mapping that Includes Characterization of Climate Sensitive Systems
This project, sponsored by the Northeast Climate Science Center, facilitated coordination among the scientific community to assess existing habitat classification and mapping products within the Northeastern and Midwest United States.
This project facilitated coordination among the scientific community to provide a comparison of existing habitat classification and mapping products within the footprint of the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC). This study also provided an evaluation of habitat vulnerability to climate change within the region and recommendations for needed improvement in habitat mapping products for the future.
Investigators compared maps produced by LANDFIRE (LF), Southeast GAP Analysis (SEGAP), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and NatureServe (NS) for the eastern USA. All the efforts use the NS Ecological Systems Classification with modifications as their legend. The LF and NS maps cover the whole U.S., whereas the area of coverage for other maps is limited. The NS map is a compilation and modification of the LF and SEGAP maps. In areas of overlap, the four maps are quite different at their finest thematic resolution (when more vegetation types are mapped) but more similar when fewer vegetation types are mapped. Differences are in part due to the nature of the vegetation continuum itself (e.g. inexact differences separating mapped types). Investigators concluded that it was not possible to determine which map was more accurate, and they could not be mixed and matched to create a ‘best map.’
David Diamond (University of Missouri)
Don Faber-Langendoen (NatureServe)
The NE CSC funded project, “Critical Evaluation of Methods and Outcomes for Habitats/Ecological Systems Classification and Mapping in the Northeast and Midwest U.S." is complete! The overall goal of this project was to compare maps and classification systems from various producers to identify opportunities for consolidating the strongest qualities in each mapping system to produce a ‘best map’ for the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S.
Other related materials include:
Northeast Climate Science Center