Our primary goal was to create a map of generalized ecological potential for the 8 range of natural variation (RNV) ecosystem classes for the Northern Superior Uplands ecological section (Frelich 1999). The natural range of variability has been shown to be a useful concept for both evaluating the extent of change from historical conditions and for creating tangible models of sustainable ecosystems (Morgan et al. 1994).
At present, the finest level of ecological classification that exists for the Northern Superior Uplands is the Land Type Association (LTA). Our objective was to create a map that nests within the current ecological classification system and shows some of the potential variability of upland and lowland habitats within LTAs.
We mapped the 8 ecosystem classes based on the relationship between sample vegetation data representing these broad habitat classes and a suite of environmental variables representing soil, landform and climate patterns in the Northern Superior Uplands. In this report we document our methods, data sources and initial results including an accuracy assessment.
White, Mark A; Host, George E.
Mapping Range of Natural Variation Ecosystem Classes for the Northern Superior Uplands: Draft Map and Analytical Methods.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
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