Creating Spatial Probability Distributions for Longleaf Pine Ecosystems Across East Mississippi, Alabama, the Panhandle of Florida, and West Georgia
Type of DegreeThesis
Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
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Longleaf ecosystems have severely decreased in total area since pre-European settlement. These dramatic losses are the principle reason for the listing of many plants and animals as endangered, and have been the driving factor for recent longleaf ecosystem restoration efforts. While studies have documented the regional decline of longleaf ecosystems, they provide little information on fine scale fragmentation patterns and current locations. This lack of information often limits the efficacy of longleaf ecosystem management, monitoring, and restoration. To aid longleaf restoration efforts we developed a series of fine grain (30 m) ecosystem probability distributions using multitemporal Landsat enhanced thematic mapper plus imagery, digital elevation models, field data, ancillary data sets, polytomous logistic regression, and a hierarchical classification scheme. Using our ecosystem probability distributions, resource managers can identify the most probable locations for longleaf ecosystems, locate potential restoration sites, prioritize restoration efforts, and estimate ecosystem area.