Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions

Margaret E. Andrew, Trisalyn Nelson, Michael A. Wulder, George W. Hobart, Nicholas C. Coops, Carson J Q Farmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecosystem classifications map an area into relatively homogenous units for environmental research, monitoring, and management. However, their effectiveness is rarely tested. Here, three classifications are (1) defined and characterized for Canada along summertime productivity (moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) and wintertime snow conditions (special sensor microwave/imager snow water equivalent), independently and in combination, and (2) comparatively evaluated to determine the ability of each classification to represent the spatial and environmental patterns of alternative schemes, including the Canadian ecozone framework. All classifications depicted similar patterns across Canada, but detailed class distributions differed. Class spatial characteristics varied with environmental conditions within classifications, but were comparable between classifications. There was moderate correspondence between classifications. The strongest association was between productivity classes and ecozones. The classification along both productivity and snow balanced these two sets of variables, yielding intermediate levels of association in all pairwise comparisons. Despite relatively low spatial agreement between classifications, they successfully captured patterns of the environmental conditions underlying alternate schemes (e.g.; snow classes explained variation in productivity and vice versa). The performance of ecosystem classifications and the relevance of their input variables depend on the environmental patterns and processes used for applications and evaluation. Productivity or snow regimes, as constructed here, may be desirable when summarizing patterns controlled by summer- or wintertime conditions, respectively, or of climate change responses. General purpose ecosystem classifications should include both sets of drivers. Classifications should be carefully, quantitatively, and comparatively evaluated relative to a particular application prior to their implementation as monitoring and assessment frameworks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3057-3079
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume185
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Ecosystems
Ecosystem
ecosystem
winter
summer
Snow
Productivity
productivity
snow
ecozone
Canada
environmental conditions
Microwave sensors
snow water equivalent
Monitoring
Environmental Monitoring
SSM-I
Climate Change
environmental research
monitoring

Keywords

  • Classification agreement
  • Ecological regionalization
  • Environmental domain classification
  • Fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR)
  • Map comparison
  • Snow water equivalent (SWE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

Andrew, M. E., Nelson, T., Wulder, M. A., Hobart, G. W., Coops, N. C., & Farmer, C. J. Q. (2013). Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(4), 3057-3079. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-012-2773-z

Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions. / Andrew, Margaret E.; Nelson, Trisalyn; Wulder, Michael A.; Hobart, George W.; Coops, Nicholas C.; Farmer, Carson J Q.

In: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 185, No. 4, 04.2013, p. 3057-3079.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Andrew, ME, Nelson, T, Wulder, MA, Hobart, GW, Coops, NC & Farmer, CJQ 2013, 'Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions', Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol. 185, no. 4, pp. 3057-3079. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-012-2773-z
Andrew, Margaret E. ; Nelson, Trisalyn ; Wulder, Michael A. ; Hobart, George W. ; Coops, Nicholas C. ; Farmer, Carson J Q. / Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions. In: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 2013 ; Vol. 185, No. 4. pp. 3057-3079.
@article{c37f9f66df9148bf8a4c736cb7d01c97,
title = "Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions",
abstract = "Ecosystem classifications map an area into relatively homogenous units for environmental research, monitoring, and management. However, their effectiveness is rarely tested. Here, three classifications are (1) defined and characterized for Canada along summertime productivity (moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) and wintertime snow conditions (special sensor microwave/imager snow water equivalent), independently and in combination, and (2) comparatively evaluated to determine the ability of each classification to represent the spatial and environmental patterns of alternative schemes, including the Canadian ecozone framework. All classifications depicted similar patterns across Canada, but detailed class distributions differed. Class spatial characteristics varied with environmental conditions within classifications, but were comparable between classifications. There was moderate correspondence between classifications. The strongest association was between productivity classes and ecozones. The classification along both productivity and snow balanced these two sets of variables, yielding intermediate levels of association in all pairwise comparisons. Despite relatively low spatial agreement between classifications, they successfully captured patterns of the environmental conditions underlying alternate schemes (e.g.; snow classes explained variation in productivity and vice versa). The performance of ecosystem classifications and the relevance of their input variables depend on the environmental patterns and processes used for applications and evaluation. Productivity or snow regimes, as constructed here, may be desirable when summarizing patterns controlled by summer- or wintertime conditions, respectively, or of climate change responses. General purpose ecosystem classifications should include both sets of drivers. Classifications should be carefully, quantitatively, and comparatively evaluated relative to a particular application prior to their implementation as monitoring and assessment frameworks.",
keywords = "Classification agreement, Ecological regionalization, Environmental domain classification, Fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR), Map comparison, Snow water equivalent (SWE)",
author = "Andrew, {Margaret E.} and Trisalyn Nelson and Wulder, {Michael A.} and Hobart, {George W.} and Coops, {Nicholas C.} and Farmer, {Carson J Q}",
year = "2013",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1007/s10661-012-2773-z",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "185",
pages = "3057--3079",
journal = "Environmental Monitoring and Assessment",
issn = "0167-6369",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ecosystem classifications based on summer and winter conditions

AU - Andrew, Margaret E.

AU - Nelson, Trisalyn

AU - Wulder, Michael A.

AU - Hobart, George W.

AU - Coops, Nicholas C.

AU - Farmer, Carson J Q

PY - 2013/4

Y1 - 2013/4

N2 - Ecosystem classifications map an area into relatively homogenous units for environmental research, monitoring, and management. However, their effectiveness is rarely tested. Here, three classifications are (1) defined and characterized for Canada along summertime productivity (moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) and wintertime snow conditions (special sensor microwave/imager snow water equivalent), independently and in combination, and (2) comparatively evaluated to determine the ability of each classification to represent the spatial and environmental patterns of alternative schemes, including the Canadian ecozone framework. All classifications depicted similar patterns across Canada, but detailed class distributions differed. Class spatial characteristics varied with environmental conditions within classifications, but were comparable between classifications. There was moderate correspondence between classifications. The strongest association was between productivity classes and ecozones. The classification along both productivity and snow balanced these two sets of variables, yielding intermediate levels of association in all pairwise comparisons. Despite relatively low spatial agreement between classifications, they successfully captured patterns of the environmental conditions underlying alternate schemes (e.g.; snow classes explained variation in productivity and vice versa). The performance of ecosystem classifications and the relevance of their input variables depend on the environmental patterns and processes used for applications and evaluation. Productivity or snow regimes, as constructed here, may be desirable when summarizing patterns controlled by summer- or wintertime conditions, respectively, or of climate change responses. General purpose ecosystem classifications should include both sets of drivers. Classifications should be carefully, quantitatively, and comparatively evaluated relative to a particular application prior to their implementation as monitoring and assessment frameworks.

AB - Ecosystem classifications map an area into relatively homogenous units for environmental research, monitoring, and management. However, their effectiveness is rarely tested. Here, three classifications are (1) defined and characterized for Canada along summertime productivity (moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation) and wintertime snow conditions (special sensor microwave/imager snow water equivalent), independently and in combination, and (2) comparatively evaluated to determine the ability of each classification to represent the spatial and environmental patterns of alternative schemes, including the Canadian ecozone framework. All classifications depicted similar patterns across Canada, but detailed class distributions differed. Class spatial characteristics varied with environmental conditions within classifications, but were comparable between classifications. There was moderate correspondence between classifications. The strongest association was between productivity classes and ecozones. The classification along both productivity and snow balanced these two sets of variables, yielding intermediate levels of association in all pairwise comparisons. Despite relatively low spatial agreement between classifications, they successfully captured patterns of the environmental conditions underlying alternate schemes (e.g.; snow classes explained variation in productivity and vice versa). The performance of ecosystem classifications and the relevance of their input variables depend on the environmental patterns and processes used for applications and evaluation. Productivity or snow regimes, as constructed here, may be desirable when summarizing patterns controlled by summer- or wintertime conditions, respectively, or of climate change responses. General purpose ecosystem classifications should include both sets of drivers. Classifications should be carefully, quantitatively, and comparatively evaluated relative to a particular application prior to their implementation as monitoring and assessment frameworks.

KW - Classification agreement

KW - Ecological regionalization

KW - Environmental domain classification

KW - Fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR)

KW - Map comparison

KW - Snow water equivalent (SWE)

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84876318847&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84876318847&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10661-012-2773-z

DO - 10.1007/s10661-012-2773-z

M3 - Article

VL - 185

SP - 3057

EP - 3079

JO - Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

JF - Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

SN - 0167-6369

IS - 4

ER -