Skip to main content

Clustering Versus Regression Trees for Determining Ecological Land Units in the Southern California Mountains and Foothills

Buy Article:

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:



A landscape stratification was required for simulation modeling of fire disturbance and succession in the mountains and foothills region of the Peninsular Ranges within San Diego County, California. Two quantitative approaches to mapping ecological land units (ELUs) were compared for a 3,878 km2 study area. These were: (a) clustering of climate overlain with key terrain variables; and (b) regression tree modeling of climate, geology, and terrain variables using a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), derived from a Landsat Thematic Mapper image, as the dependent variable. Terrain variables derived from a digital elevation model included slope gradient, cosine transformed slope aspect, potential solar insolation, and a topographic moisture index. For the simulation model ELUs were required that would stratify the landscape according to biomass (fuel) accumulation dynamics, related to site productivity, and probabilities of plant species establishment. Therefore, ELUs were defined using abiotic variables, and the resulting stratifications were evaluated by their ability to reduce within-class variance in the NDVI (as an index of biological productivity), and by comparing them to a map of existing vegetation. While the regression tree method resulted in classes that explained more variance in NDVI than classes resulting from unsupervised clustering, the difference was not large. In contrast, the unsupervised approach resulted in ecological land classes that were more strongly related to existing vegetation patterns. FOR. SCI. 49 (3):354–368.

Keywords: Digital terrain model; Landsat Thematic Mapper; NDVI; Peninsular Ranges; ecological land classification; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Department of Geography, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, Current Address Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, 92182-4614, Phone: (619) 594-5491; Fax: (619) 594-5676 janet@sciences.sdsu.edu

Publication date: June 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
  • Submit a Paper
  • Membership Information
  • Author Guidelines
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
saf/fs/2003/00000049/00000003/art00003
dcterms_title,dcterms_description,pub_keyword
6
5
20
40
5

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more