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Title: Chapter 2: Dynamic vegetation modeling of forest, woodland, shrubland, and grassland vegetation communities in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Regions of the United States

Author: Burcsu, Theresa K.; Halofsky, Joshua S.; Bisrat, Simon A.; Christopher, Treg A.; Creutzburg, Megan K.; Henderson, Emilie B.; Hemstrom, Miles A.; Triepke, F. Jack; Whitman, Melissa.;

Date: 2014

Source: In: Halofsky, Jessica E.; Creutzburg, Megan K.; Hemstrom, Miles A., eds. 2014. Integrating social, economic, and ecological values across large landscapes. Gen.Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-896. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 15-70.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

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

Description: Land management planning at broad scales requires integrative techniques to understand and synthesize the effects of different land management activities and address socioeconomic and conservation concerns. The Integrated Landscape Assessment Project was developed to support the vital but complex task of broadscale integration of information to assess ecological sustainability at multiple scales. The project supports ecosystem management planning at a regional scale across all lands of Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington by simulating landscape dynamics using state-and-transition models (STMs) and linking model output to management planning considerations such as fuel conditions, wildlife habitat, community economics, and climate change. The stakeholders and target users for the project products include natural resource planners, decisionmakers, and modelers who can provide additional analyses in support of planning and policy. This chapter reports on the STM component of the project. The STMs were designed for all major potential vegetation types in the study area with a focus on watershed-level prioritization of land management actions. One baseline scenario, depicting vegetation dynamics with no management activity, was applied across the full study area. Other management scenarios were developed for focus areas within the four-state project area. The modeling framework was sometimes linked with other modeling systems (e.g., Forest Vegetation Simulator) and other data sets for validation or calibration, and incorporated expert opinion where data were lacking. The process was flexible and modular to allow alternative data sources for vegetation and other base data to be incorporated. Products resulting from this work include STMs of vegetation dynamics, tools for preparing and initializing models, data summarization and visualization tools, and model output data sets across the four-state study area. Most data, tools, and products will be available online via the Western Landscapes Explorer (www.westernlandscapesexplorer.info).

Keywords: Landscapes, state-and-transition modeling, vegetation mapping, fuels, wildfire hazard, treatment costs, biomass, wildlife habitat, decision support, climate change, watersheds, community economics, all ownerships, geographic information systems, landscape assessment.

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Burcsu, Theresa K.; Halofsky, Joshua S.; Bisrat, Simon A.; Christopher, Treg A.; Creutzburg, Megan K.; Henderson, Emilie B.; Hemstrom, Miles A.; Triepke, F. Jack; Whitman, Melissa. 2014. Chapter 2: Dynamic vegetation modeling of forest, woodland, shrubland, and grassland vegetation communities in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Regions of the United States. In: Halofsky, Jessica E.; Creutzburg, Megan K.; Hemstrom, Miles A., eds. 2014. Integrating social, economic, and ecological values across large landscapes. Gen.Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-896. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 15-70.

 


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