The MFRC Landscape Program recognizes several distinct regional landscapes, formed by integrating the natural physiographic and climatic regions of the state with social and economic objectives. These landscapes have served as focal points for regional planning efforts involving multiple groups of stakeholders. While the landscape regions have unique issues and potentials, they all have common data needs. Foremost among these is an assessment of landscape potential, which is required to formulate desired future conditions.
To date, numerous efforts studies have been conducted to map landscape potential – these efforts typically integrate spatial data in a Geographic Information System (GIS) with forest compositional and structural information from remote sensing (e.g. Landsat; Wolter et al 1995, airphoto interpretations) or field inventories. White and Host (2000) created a landscape ecosystem map for the Northern Superior Uplands based on a spatial analysis of GIS data layers known to be important determinants or correlates of forest type distribution, including soils, elevation, landtype associations, climate, and numerous other factors. Subsequently, Host et al. (2006) mapped Native Plant Communities (NPCs) for the northern landscape, a landscape dominated by extensive peatland systems.
In the late 1990’s, David Shadis, soil scientist and ECS coordinator for the Chippewa National Forest created a map of the Drift and Lake Plains (DLP) Section. This map however, was at a much coarser resolution than the previously mentioned mapping efforts. Moreover, since the initial DLP maps were developed, the MN DNR published the Field Guide to Native Plant Communities of the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province (MN DNR 2003). For both strategic and tactical planning purposes, there is a strong need to produce a map of the DLP and other unmapped forested lands of the state using MN DNR Native Plant Community classification and based on a common, consistent and cross-boundary set of geospatial data.
The specific objectives of this proposal were to:
1) Integrate a suite of geospatial data layers to predict potential Native Plant Communities of the Drift and Lake Plains and Western and Southern Superior Uplands ecological sections, with a spatial resolution similar to the Minnesota-Ontario Peatlands and Northern Superior Uplands NPC maps map and based on the DNR classification of Native Plant Communities.
2) In support of the Landscape Committee planning efforts, summarize acreages of Native Plant Communities by Ownership (MFRC 2010); provide other reports in consultation with Committee members.
Brown, Terry; Meysembourg, Paul; Host, George E.
Geospatial Modeling of Native Plant Communities of Minnesota’s Laurentian Mixed Forest.
University of Minnesota Duluth.
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