Landscape Dynamics Monitoring Program in the NCCN
Parks where protocol will be implemented
The protocol will be implemented in all of the NCCN parks.
Importance / Issues
Remotely sensed data have the potential to effectively address many monitoring needs in national parks. These include the need to monitor large areas that are inaccessible by foot travel, the need to view some processes from the landscape perspective, and the need to detect unique events (e.g., windthrow in parks due to clearcut logging outside park boundaries). These and other landscape changes can be detected with 30 m resolution satellite imagery that is available at low cost.
- Determine the characteristics of disturbance changing over time with respect to:
- Determine large-scale changes in forest composition (such as conifer vs. deciduous)?
- Determine overstory species composition of the riparian zones changing over time?
- Determine if the interface between subalpine and alpine vegetation (treeline) changing position?
- Determine the extents of glaciers and snow fields.
- Determine how land-use (such as clearing, development, road building) is changing around the parks and what affects might this have on the spread of exotic species, habitat fragmentation, water quality, etc.
A. Type (Fire, Disease Pathogens, Geologic Process Disturbances, Wind and Storm Events, Flooding, Timber harvest
D. Spatial patterns
Landsat TM satellite imagery will be used to monitor landscape scale changes. Image differencing or change vector analysis will be used to identify areas of change annually. Identifying the mechanism of change for each of those areas will be done through either comparing change vectors relative to reference spectral keystones (for example old-conifer, barren ground, young conifer, snow) or using one of several other validation techniques. These validation techniques include satellite-to-satellite (interpretation of change by visually comparing the satellite images from time 1 with time 2). Visual clues, spatial context, and knowledge of the systems being studied allow for direct interpretation of many types of change in land surface conditions. Because other forms of validation will likely not be available on a year-to-year basis, this method will be critical for evaluating many of the changes being monitored
Landscape level monitoring through remote sensing provides the context for understanding plot level monitoring results. It allows for inference to park and regional scales. Landscape level changes are important to monitor as they can be considered both system drivers (adjacent land use) and response variables (changes in canopy closure of forested stands due to disease).
Protocol Development and Status
Aerial Photography Protocol
|Pilot field work||FY04||FY06|
|data analysis methods||FY05||FY06|
Status and Trends
Not available at this time.
Catharine Copass Thompson
Project Coordinator, Olympic National Park
Cohen et al. (Cohen, W. B., T. A. Spies, et al. (1995). Estimating the age and structure of forests in a multi-ownership landscape of western Oregon, U.S.A. International Journal of Remote Sensing 16: 721-746) and other studies.
Cohen et al. 2001 (Cohen, W. B., T. K. Maiersperger, et al. (2001). Modeling forest cover attributes as continuous variables in a regional context with Thematic Mapper data. International Journal of Remote Sensing 22: 2279-2310)
Dozier, J., 1989. Spectral signature of Alpine snow cover from the Landsat Thematic Mapper. Remote Sensing of Environment, 28, 9-22.
Oakley, K. L., L. P. Thomas, and S. G. Fancy. 2003. Guidelines for long-term monitoring protocols. Wildlife Society Bulletin 31(4):1000-1003.
Woodward, A., S. Acker and R. Hoffman. 2002. Use of Remote Sensing for Long-term Ecological Monitoring in the North Coast and Cascades Network: Summary of a Workshop.