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Title: Chapter 8 - Mapping existing vegetation composition and structure for the LANDFIRE Prototype Project

Author: Zhu, Zhiliang; Vogelmann, James; Ohlen, Donald; Kost, Jay; Chen, Xuexia; Tolk, Brian;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Rollins, Matthew G.; Frame, Christine K., tech. eds. 2006. The LANDFIRE Prototype Project: nationally consistent and locally relevant geospatial data for wildland fire management Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-175. Fort Collins: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 197-215

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools Prototype Project, or LANDFIRE Prototype Project, required the mapping of existing vegetation composition (cover type) and structural stages at a 30-m spatial resolution to provide baseline vegetation data for the development of wildland fuel maps and for comparison to simulated historical vegetation reference conditions to develop indices of ecological departure. For the LANDFIRE Prototype Project, research was conducted to develop a vegetation mapping methodology that could meet the following general requirements:

Cover types (species composition) must be characterized at a scale suitable for subsequent mapping of wildland fuel and fire regime condition class (FRCC). The vegetation map unit classification used for mapping cover types must be based on existing national systems, such as the United States National Vegetation Classification System (NVCS; Grossman and others 1998). The alliance (a community with multiple dominant species) or association (a community with a single dominant species) levels of this standard must provide a clearly defined list of map units that can be used as a basis for mapping vegetation classes that are both scaleable and representative of suitable units for modeling historical fire regimes (see Long and others, Ch. 6 for details on the LANDFIRE vegetation map units).

The mapping of existing vegetation structure must be based on the relative composition of forest, shrub, and herbaceous canopy cover and average forest, shrub, and herbaceous canopy height. Although structural stages are discrete map units describing unique combinations of canopy cover and canopy height by life form, mapping individual canopy cover and height variables as continuous variables is desired to provide additional information for mapping and modeling vegetation and flexibility for setting threshold values.

Keywords: mapping wildland fuel, mapping fire regimes, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, remote sensing, fire ecology, fire behavior, wildland fire management

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Zhu, Zhiliang; Vogelmann, James; Ohlen, Donald; Kost, Jay; Chen, Xuexia; Tolk, Brian 2006. Chapter 8 - Mapping existing vegetation composition and structure for the LANDFIRE Prototype Project. In: Rollins, Matthew G.; Frame, Christine K., tech. eds. 2006. The LANDFIRE Prototype Project: nationally consistent and locally relevant geospatial data for wildland fire management Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-175. Fort Collins: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 197-215

 


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