Spatially modelling native vegetation condition

Zerger, K, Gibbons, P, Jones, S, Doyle, S, Seddon, j, Briggs, S and Freudenberger, D 2006, 'Spatially modelling native vegetation condition', Ecological Management and Restoration, vol. 7, no. SUPPL.1, pp. S37-S44.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Spatially modelling native vegetation condition
Author(s) Zerger, K
Gibbons, P
Jones, S
Doyle, S
Seddon, j
Briggs, S
Freudenberger, D
Year 2006
Journal name Ecological Management and Restoration
Volume number 7
Issue number SUPPL.1
Start page S37
End page S44
Total pages 8
Publisher Ecological Society Australia
Abstract The assessment of vegetation condition is seen as an increasingly important requirement for effective biodiversity conservation in Australia. Condition assessments that operate at the scale of the site are well established. However, there is a need for mapped representations of vegetation condition at regional scales to: (i) assist with regional planning and target setting; (ii) provide regional context for site-based assessment; and (iii) monitor the change in vegetation condition at multiple scales. This paper describes a methodology for converting site condition data collected in plots into maps of vegetation condition across entire regions using a predictive statistical modelling framework (Generalized Additive Modelling) combined with a GIS. The research demonstrates how explanatory variables including topographic position, terrain roughness, landscape connectivity and remote sensing derived indices can be used to map the condition of native vegetation at the scale of a subcatchment. The inclusion of indices derived from remotely sensed imagery (SPOT4) as explanatory variables in the modelling is a novel component of this research. Although the methodology generates statistically and ecologically plausible models of vegetation condition, there are nevertheless limitations associated with the way plot data were collected and some of the explanatory variables, which impacts upon model utility. We discuss how these problems can be minimized when embarking upon studies of this type. We demonstrate how maps produced from exercises such as this could be used for conservation planning and discuss the limitations of these data for monitoring.
Subject Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Native vegetation condition
DOI - identifier 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2006.00290.x
Copyright notice © 2006 The Authors.
ISSN 1442-7001
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