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Mapping ecological systems in southeastern Arizona

Posted date: December 10, 2013
Publication Year: 
2013
Authors: Malusa, Jim; Falk, Donald; Laing, Larry; Gebow, Brooke
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C., comps. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. A1-A7.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Beginning in 2007 in and around the Huachuca Mountains, the Coronado National Forest and other partners have been mapping ecosystems at multiple scales. The approach has focused on identifying land type associations (LTA), which represent the sum of bedrock and superficial geology, topography, elevation, potential and existing vegetation, soil properties, and local climatic variables. This mapping effort has been extended into the FireScape program, in which multiple partners utilize ecological land type mapping as a framework for fire planning across the Sky Island bioregion. Land type association maps for the Catalina-Rincon mountains (available at www.azfirescape.org) are used for managing ecological units (e.g., mixed conifer on granitic soils) typically no smaller than a thousand acres, and often much larger. Land type associations compliment raster-based sources of information such as LANDFIRE. Not surprisingly, the success of the project depends on an accurate depiction of vegetative and physical setting reality, not just interpretations of remote imagery. LTAs provide an intuitive and informative method of characterizing complex landscapes for planning and ecosystem management.

Citation

Malusa, Jim; Falk, Donald; Laing, Larry; Gebow, Brooke. 2013. Mapping ecological systems in southeastern Arizona. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Collins, Loa C., comps. Merging science and management in a rapidly changing world: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago III and 7th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts; 2012 May 1-5; Tucson, AZ. Proceedings. RMRS-P-67. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. A1-A7.