Land-cover Types (land-cover + type)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Modelling species distributions in Britain: a hierarchical integration of climate and land-cover data

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2004
Richard G. Pearson
A modelling framework for studying the combined effects of climate and land-cover changes on the distribution of species is presented. The model integrates land-cover data into a correlative bioclimatic model in a scale-dependent hierarchical manner, whereby Artificial Neural Networks are used to characterise species' climatic requirements at the European scale and land-cover requirements at the British scale. The model has been tested against an alternative non-hierarchical approach and has been applied to four plant species in Britain: Rhynchospora alba, Erica tetralix, Salix herbacea and Geranium sylvaticum. Predictive performance has been evaluated using Cohen's Kappa statistic and the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve, and a novel approach to identifying thresholds of occurrence which utilises three levels of confidence has been applied. Results demonstrate reasonable to good predictive performance for each species, with the main patterns of distribution simulated at both 10 km and 1 km resolutions. The incorporation of land-cover data was found to significantly improve purely climate-driven predictions for R. alba and E. tetralix, enabling regions with suitable climate but unsuitable land-cover to be identified. The study thus provides an insight into the roles of climate and land-cover as determinants of species' distributions and it is demonstrated that the modelling approach presented can provide a useful framework for making predictions of distributions under scenarios of changing climate and land-cover type. The paper confirms the potential utility of multi-scale approaches for understanding environmental limitations to species' distributions, and demonstrates that the search for environmental correlates with species' distributions must be addressed at an appropriate spatial scale. Our study contributes to the mounting evidence that hierarchical schemes are characteristic of ecological systems. [source]

Accuracy assessment of the MODIS snow products,

Dorothy K. Hall
Abstract A suite of Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow products at various spatial and temporal resolutions from the Terra satellite has been available since February 2000. Standard products include daily and 8-day composite 500 m resolution swath and tile products (which include fractional snow cover (FSC) and snow albedo), and 0·05° resolution products on a climate-modelling grid (CMG) (which also include FSC). These snow products (from Collection 4 (C4) reprocessing) are mature and most have been validated to varying degrees and are available to order through the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The overall absolute accuracy of the well-studied 500 m resolution swath (MOD10_L2) and daily tile (MOD10A1) products is ,93%, but varies by land-cover type and snow condition. The most frequent errors are due to snow/cloud discrimination problems, however, improvements in the MODIS cloud mask, an input product, have occurred in ,Collection 5' reprocessing. Detection of very thin snow (<1 cm thick) can also be problematic. Validation of MOD10_L2 and MOD10A1 applies to all higher-level products because all the higher-level products are all created from these products. The composited products may have larger errors due, in part, to errors propagated from daily products. Recently, new products have been developed. A fractional snow cover algorithm for the 500 m resolution products was developed, and is part of the C5 daily swath and tile products; a monthly CMG snow product at 0·05° resolution and a daily 0·25° resolution CMG snow product are also now available. Similar, but not identical products are also produced from the MODIS on the Aqua satellite, launched in May 2002, but the accuracy of those products has not yet been assessed in detail. Published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The rapid spread of invasive Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto in the continental USA follows human-altered habitats

IBIS, Issue 3 2010
Understanding factors related to the range expansion trajectory of a successful invasive species may provide insights into environmental variables that favour additional expansion or guide monitoring and survey efforts for this and other invasive species. We examined the relationship of presence and abundance of Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto to environmental factors using recent data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to understand factors influencing its expansion into the continental USA. A zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) model was used to account for excess zero observations because this species was not observed on the majority of survey routes, despite its large geographical range. Model fit was improved when we included environmental covariates as compared with the null model, which only included distance from the route where this species was first observed. Probability of zero count was positively related to the distance from the first route and road density and was inversely related to minimum temperature and distance to coast. Abundance of the species was positively related to road density and was inversely related to annual precipitation and distance to coast. Random intercept by land-cover type also improved model fit. Model fit was improved with the ZIP model over the standard Poisson model, suggesting that presence and abundance of this species are characterized by different environmental factors. However, overall low accuracy of model-predicted presence/absence and abundance with the independent validation dataset may indicate either that there are other explanatory factors or that there is great uncertainty in the species' colonization process. Our large-scale study provides additional evidence that the range expansion of this species tends to follow human-altered landscapes such as road and agricultural areas as well as responding to general geographical features such as coastlines or thermal clines. Such patterns may hold true for other invasive species and may provide guidelines for monitoring and assessment activities in other invasive taxa. [source]

Spatial distribution and its seasonality of satellite-derived vegetation index (NDVI) and climate in Siberia

Rikie Suzuki
Abstract The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) distribution and its seasonal cycle were investigated in relation to temperature and precipitation over Siberia and its surrounding regions. The analyses used 5-year (1987,1991) monthly means. The monthly mean NDVI was calculated from the third-generation monthly Global Vegetation Index (GVI) product; monthly temperature and precipitation at 611 stations were calculated from Global Daily Summary (GDS) data. The 611 stations were classified by cluster analysis into 10 classes based on the NDVI seasonal cycle (March,October). The geographical distribution characteristics of the NDVI cycle were described using temperature, precipitation and Olson's land-cover type. In northern regions, where tundra vegetation prevails and temperatures and precipitation are low, the amplitude of the NDVI seasonal cycle is small. In southern regions, where temperatures are high and there is little precipitation, the seasonal amplitude of the NDVI is small because of the arid land type. Forested regions were split into six classes, each characterized by large amplitudes in the NDVI seasonal cycle. The phenological characteristics of the forest classes were noted. For example, a forest-class localized near Lake Baikal shows higher NDVI values, even with the presence of snow cover in March, compared with other regions. This high NDVI value suggests that the exposed green canopy of the coniferous forest can be observed even when snow is present. In addition, the NDVI peaks at stations near 60°N, where the maximum monthly temperature is around 18°C. This result suggests that the optimum temperature-precipitation environment coincides to the area in Siberia where the maximum monthly temperature is 18°C. Copyright © 2001 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Characteristics of Important Stopover Locations for Migrating Birds: Remote Sensing with Radar in the Great Lakes Basin

ave terrestre migratoria; migración; radar; sitios de escala temporal; WSR-88D Abstract:,A preliminary stage in developing comprehensive conservation plans involves identifying areas used by the organisms of interest. The areas used by migratory land birds during temporal breaks in migration (stopover periods) have received relatively little research and conservation attention. Methodologies for identifying stopover sites across large geographic areas have been, until recently, unavailable. Advances in weather-radar technology now allow for evaluation of bird migration patterns at large spatial scales. We analyzed radar data (WSR-88D) recorded during spring migration in 2000 and 2001 at 6 sites in the Great Lakes basin (U.S.A.). Our goal was to link areas of high migrant activity with the land-cover types and landscape contexts corresponding to those areas. To characterize the landscapes surrounding stopover locations, we integrated radar and land-cover data within a geographic information system. We compared landscape metrics within 5 km of areas that consistently hosted large numbers of migrants with landscapes surrounding randomly selected areas that were used by relatively few birds during migration. Concentration areas were characterized by 1.2 times more forest cover and 9.3 times more water cover than areas with little migrant activity. We detected a strong negative relationship between activity of migratory birds and agricultural land uses. Examination of individual migration events confirmed the importance of fragments of forested habitat in highly altered landscapes and highlighted large concentrations of birds departing from near-shore terrestrial areas in the Great Lakes basin. We conclude that conservation efforts can be more effectively targeted through intensive analysis of radar imagery. Resumen:,Una etapa preliminar en el desarrollo de planes de conservación integrales implica la identificación de áreas utilizadas por los organismos de interés. Las áreas utilizadas por aves terrestres migratorias durante escalas temporales en la migración (períodos de parada) han recibido relativamente poca atención de investigación y conservación. Hasta hace poco, las metodologías para la identificación de sitios de parada en áreas geográficas extensas han sido escasas. Ahora, los avances en la tecnología de radar meteorológico permiten la evaluación de patrones de migración de aves en escalas espaciales grandes. Analizamos datos de radar (WSR-88D) registrados en seis sitios en la cuenca de los Grandes Lagos (E.U.A.) durante la migración en las primaveras de 2000 y 2001. Nuestra meta fue relacionar áreas con gran actividad migratoria con los tipos de cobertura de suelo y los contextos del paisaje correspondientes a esas áreas. Para caracterizar los paisajes circundantes a las localidades de parada, integramos los datos de radar y de cobertura de suelo a un sistema de información geográfica. Comparamos las medidas del paisaje en un radio de 5 km en las áreas que consistentemente albergaron a grandes números de migrantes con los paisajes circundantes a áreas seleccionadas aleatoriamente y que eran utilizadas por relativamente pocas aves durante la migración. Las áreas de concentración se caracterizaron por tener 1.3 veces más cobertura forestal y 9.3 veces más cobertura de agua que las áreas con poca actividad migratoria. Detectamos una fuerte relación negativa entre la actividad de las aves migratorias y los usos de suelo agrícolas. El examen de eventos migratorios individuales confirmó la importancia de los fragmentos de hábitat boscoso en paisajes muy alterados y resaltó las grandes concentraciones de aves partiendo de áreas terrestres cercanas a la costa en la cuenca de los Grandes Lagos. Concluimos que los esfuerzos de conservación pueden ser abordados más efectivamente mediante el análisis intensivo de imágenes de radar. [source]

Targeting Conservation Action through Assessment of Protection and Exurban Threats

I developed a methodology to assess the level of threat to conservation of biodiversity to help guide conservation action. This method incorporates socioeconomic indicators of risk, including developed and roaded areas, and measures the proportion of conservation lands affected by developed areas. In addition, I developed a metric called conservation potential to measure the degree of fragmentation of patches caused by development. As an illustration I applied this methodology to Colorado (U.S.A.). Protection levels were determined by examining land ownership, resulting in protected lands (status levels 1 and 2) and unprotected lands (status levels 3 and 4). Areas were considered threatened (at risk) if a land-cover patch had >20% roaded area, >15% developed area, or was highly fragmented. Although 24 of 43 natural land-cover types were unprotected (49% of the state), 9 additional types were threatened. Combining conservation-status protection levels with patterns of threat targets the geographic area where conservation action is needed, provides a way to determine where so-called protected areas are at risk, and allows conservation strategies to be better refined. Resumen: Las evaluaciones de biodiversidad a nivel de paisaje se esfuerzan por proporcionar información para la planificación del uso del suelo y actividades de conservación mediante datos sobre áreas de alto valor de biodiversidad y bajo estatus de protección. Desarrollé una metodología para evaluar el nivel de amenaza para la conservación de la biodiversidad para ayudar a guiar acciones de conservación. Este método incorpora indicadores socioeconómicos de riesgo, incluyendo áreas desarrolladas y con caminos, y mide la proporción de tierras de conservación afectadas por áreas desarrolladas. Adicionalmente, desarrollé una medida llamada potencial de conservación para cuantificar el grado de fragmentación debido al desarrollo. Como un ejemplo, apliqué esta metodología a Colorado (E. U. A). Los niveles de protección se determinaron examinando la propiedad, resultando en tierras protegidas (niveles 1 y 2) y no protegidas (niveles 3 y 4). Las áreas se consideraron amenazadas (en riesgo) si tenían >20% de su superficie con caminos, >15% del área desarrollada o si estaban muy fragmentadas. Aunque 24 de los 43 tipos de cobertura natural no estaban protegidos (49% del estado), 9 más estaban amenazados. La combinación de estatus de conservación y niveles de protección con patrones de amenazas identifica al área geográfica donde se requieren acciones de conservación, proporciona una forma de examinar donde están en riesgo las llamadas áreas protegidas y permite que las estrategias de conservación sean mejor ajustadas. [source]

Land-use impact on ecosystem functioning in eastern Colorado, USA

J. M. Paruelo
Abstract Land-cover change associated with agriculture has had an enormous effect on the structure and functioning of temperate ecosystems. However, the empirical evidence for the impact of land use on ecosystem functioning at the regional scale is scarce. Most of our knowledge on land-use impact has been derived from simulation studies or from small plot experiments. In this article we studied the effects of land use on (i) the seasonal dynamics and (ii) the interannual variability of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a variable linearly related to the fraction of the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) intercepted by the canopy. We also analysed the relative importance of environmental factors and land use on the spatial patterns of NDVI. We compared three cultivated land-cover types against native grasslands. The seasonal dynamics of NDVI was used as a descriptor of ecosystem functioning. In order to reduce the dimensionality of our data we analysed the annual integral (NDVI-I), the date of maximum NDVI (DMAX) and the quarterly average NDVI. These attributes were studied for 7 years and for 346 sites distributed across eastern Colorado (USA). Land use did modify ecosystem functioning at the regional level in eastern Colorado. The seasonal dynamics of NDVI, a surrogate for the fraction of PAR intercepted by the canopy, were significantly altered by agricultural practices. Land use modified both the NDVI integral and the seasonal dynamics of this spectral index. Despite the variability within land-cover categories, land use was the most important factor in explaining regional differences of the NDVI attributes analysed. Within the range of environmental conditions found in eastern Colorado, land use was more important than mean annual precipitation, mean annual temperature and soil texture in determining the seasonal dynamics of NDVI. [source]

Fire regimes of China: inference from statistical comparison with the United States

GLOBAL ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
Meg A. Krawchuk
ABSTRACT Aim, Substantial overlap in the climate characteristics of the United States and China results in similar land-cover types and weather conditions, especially in the eastern half of the two countries. These parallels suggest similarities in fire regimes as well, yet relatively little is known about the historical role of fire in Chinese ecosystems. Consequently, we aimed to infer fire regime characteristics for China based on our understanding of climate,fire relationships in the United States. Location, The conterminous United States and the People's Republic of China. Methods, We used generalized additive models to quantify the relationship between reference fire regime classes adopted by the LANDFIRE initiative in the United States, and a global climate data set. With the models, we determined which climate variables best described the distribution of fire regimes in the United States then used these models to predict the spatial distribution of fire regimes in China. The fitted models were validated quantitatively using receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (AUC). We validated the predicted fire regimes in China by comparison with palaeoecological fire data and satellite-derived estimates of current fire activity. Results, Quantitative validation using the AUC indicated good discrimination of the distribution of fire regimes by models for the United States. Overall, fire regimes with more frequent return intervals were more likely in the east than in the west. The resolution of available historical and prehistorical fire data for China, including sediment cores, allowed only coarse, qualitative validation, but provided supporting evidence that fire has long been a part of ecosystem function in eastern China. MODIS satellite data illustrated that fire frequency within the last decade supported the classification of much of western China as relatively fire-free; however, much of south-eastern China experiences more fire activity than predicted with our models, probably as a function of the extensive use of fire by people. Conclusions, While acknowledging there are many cultural, environmental and historical differences between the United States and China, our fire regime models based on climate data demonstrate potential historical fire regimes for China, and propose that large areas of China share historical fire,vegetation,climate complexes with the United States. [source]

Modelling snowpack surface temperature in the Canadian Prairies using simplified heat flow models

Purushottam Raj Singh
Abstract Three practical schemes for computing the snow surface temperature Ts, i.e. the force,restore method (FRM), the surface conductance method (SCM), and the Kondo and Yamazaki method (KYM), were assessed with respect to Ts retrieved from cloud-free, NOAA-AVHRR satellite data for three land-cover types of the Paddle River basin of central Alberta. In terms of R2, the mean Ts, the t -test and F -test, the FRM generally simulated more accurate Ts than the SCM and KYM. The bias in simulated Ts is usually within several degrees Celsius of the NOAA-AVHRR Ts for both the calibration and validation periods, but larger errors are encountered occasionally, especially when Ts is substantially above 0 °C. Results show that the simulated Ts of the FRM is more consistent than that of the SCM, which in turn was more consistent than that of the KYM. This is partly because the FRM considers two aspects of heat conduction into snow, a stationary-mean diurnal (sinusoidal) temperature variation at the surface coupled to a near steady-state ground heat flux, whereas the SCM assumes a near steady-state, simple heat conduction, and other simplifying assumptions, and the KYM does not balance the snowpack heat fluxes by assuming the snowpack having a vertical temperature profile that is linear. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]