Steers, Robert , Curto, Michael , Holland, V.L. .
A high resolution, ground-based approach to local scale vegetation mapping and ecotone analysis.
THE spatial organization of plant communities on the central coast of California can appear as a mosaic with sharp to broad transitions between adjacent vegetation types. To accurately portray this community organization, a new method of mapping vegetation was developed. Instead of typical two-dimensional orthographic canopy cover mapping where topological planar enforcement requires complete coverage by non-overlapping polygons, vegetation stands of eleven plant communities were mapped in seperate GIS layers to the full extent of their respective suite of indicator species into the adjacent stands. Since all stands were mapped in this way, the overlap of different communities on the GIS represents the ecotones between the adjacent stands. The resulting vegetation map revealed that 39% of the total area was ecotonal or transitional. The mapped plant communities differed in their proportion of area that was ecotone or discrete in addition to their species fidelity. Although the method presented is not practical for implementation at the regional scale, its findings suggest that portraying transitional space between communities may be an important goal for maps of any scale.
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1 - University of California Riverside, Department of Botany & Plant Sciences, Riverside, California, 92521-0124, USA
2 - California Polytechnic State University, Biological Sciences, San Luis Obispo, California, 93407, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 11:30 AM