An application of predictive vegetation mapping to mountain vegetation in Sweden

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Title: An application of predictive vegetation mapping to mountain vegetation in Sweden
Author: Green, Janet Alexis
Abstract: Predictive vegetation mapping was employed to predict the distribution of vegetation communities and physiognomies in the portion of the Scandinavian mountains in Sweden . This was done to address three main research questions : (1 ) what environmental variables are important in structuring vegetation patterns in the study area ? (2 ) how well does a classification tree predict the composition of mountain vegetation in the study area using the chosen environmental variables for the study ? and (3 ) are vegetation patterns better predicted at higher levels of physiognomic aggregation ? Using GIS , a spatial dataset was first developed consisting of sampled points across the full geographic range of the study area . The sample contained existing vegetation community data as the dependent variable and various environmental data as the independent variables thought to control or correlate with vegetation distributions . The environmental data were either obtained from existing digital datasets or derived from Digital Elevation Models (DEMs ) . Utilizing classification tree methodology , three model frameworks were developed in which vegetation was increasingly aggregated into higher levels of physiognomic organization . The models were then pruned , and accuracy statistics were obtained . Results indicated that accuracy improved with increasing aggregation of the dependent variable . The three model frameworks were then applied to the Abisko portion of the study area in northwestern Sweden to produce predictive maps which were compared to the current vegetation distribution . Compositional patterns were critically analyzed in order to : (1 ) assess the ability of the models to correctly classify general vegetation patterns at the three levels of physiognomic classification , (2 ) address the extent to which three specific ecological relationships thought to control vegetation distribution in this area were manifested by the model , and (3 ) speculate as to possible sources of error and factors affecting accuracy of the models .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /3089
Date: 2006-04-12

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An application of predictive vegetation mapping to mountain vegetation in Sweden. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /3089 .

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