Spatial Modeling of Vegetation Potential: An Introduction
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In the face of global change, the mapping of vegetation and its underlying site conditions has re-entered the focus of applied vegetation science. Thus, land managers, conservationists and scientists require a new generation of mapped and interpreted environmental information as a basis for scenario building, planning and decision making. Nowadays, such mapping is rarely performed by experts in the field, but rather by the synthesis of ecological information from point data and area-wide layers stored in geographical information systems (GIS). The prerequisites and main reasons to prefer these methods are (1) the availability of point data from vegetation plots and concomitant soil profiles, (2) availability of high resolution geo-physical data, and (3) the predictive potential of models that allow the application of climate change scenarios.
Vegetation scientists, and the custodians of vegetation databases in particular, have an important contribution to make in this process. Besides...
KeywordsEnvironmental gradients Forest vegetation GIS Global change Vegetation databases
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