Catalog Record: Regional Cover Mapping of Tundra Plant Functional Types in Arctic Alaska, circa 2015
Filename: map (3) (1) (1).geojson





Regional Cover Mapping of Tundra Plant Functional Types in Arctic Alaska, circa 2015

Ecosystem maps are foundational tools that support multi-disciplinary study design and applications including wildlife habitat assessment, monitoring, and earth-system modeling. Here we present continuous-field cover maps for tundra plant functional types (PFTs) across ~125,000 km² of Alaska’s North Slope at 30 m resolution. To develop maps, we collected a field-based training dataset using a point-intercept sampling method at 225 plots spanning bioclimatic and geomorphic gradients. We stratified vegetation by nine PFTs (e.g. Low Deciduous Shrub, Dwarf Evergreen Shrub, Sedge, Lichen) and summarized measurements of the PFTs, Open Water, Bare Ground, and Litter using the cover metrics total cover (areal cover including the understory) and top cover (uppermost canopy or ground cover). We then developed 73 spectral predictors derived from Landsat satellite observations (surface reflectance composites for ~15-day periods from May through August) and 5 gridded environmental predictors (e.g., summer temperature, climatological snow-free date) to model cover of PFTs using the random forest data-mining algorithm.

Model performance tended to be best for canopy-forming PFTs, particularly deciduous shrubs. Our assessment of predictor importance indicated that models for low-statured PFTs was improved through the use of seasonal composites from early and late in the growing season, particularly when similar PFTs were aggregated together (e.g., Low & Tall Deciduous Shrub, Herbaceous).

Continuous-field maps have many advantages over traditional thematic maps and the methods described here are well-suited to support periodic map updates in tandem with future field and Landsat observations.

A link to a journal article detailing this product in Remote Sensing: Special Issue Remote Sensing of Arctic Tundra, is provided below.


Data and Resources

  • Download

    Download :: Metadata

    metadata.xml (14.3 KB)

  • Download

    Download :: Bare Ground

    Bare_Ground_Top_Cover.tif.vat.zip (58 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Bryophyte

    Bryophyte_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (90.1 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Dwarf Deciduous Shrub

    Dwarf_Deciduous_Shrub_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (44.3 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Dwarf Evergreen Shrub

    Dwarf_Evergreen_Shrub_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (93.9 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Forb

    Forb_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (57.7 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Grass

    Grass_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (45.6 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Lichen

    Lichen_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (72.3 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Litter

    Litter_Top_Cover.tif.vat.zip (82.1 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Low and Tall Deciduous Shrub

    Low_and_Tall_Deciduous_Shrub_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (79.3 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Low Deciduous Shrub

    Low_Deciduous_Shrub_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (78.3 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Nonvascular Plant Top

    Nonvascular_Plant_Top_Cover.tif.vat.zip (60.8 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Nonvascular Plant Total

    Nonvascular_Plant_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (96.7 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Open Water Top

    Open_Water_Top_Cover.tif.vat.zip (55.1 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Sedge

    Sedge_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (83.8 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Tall Deciduous Shrub

    Tall_Deciduous_Shrub_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (36.6 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Total Herbaceous

    Total_Herbaceous_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (86.6 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Total Shrub

    Total_Shrub_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (101 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Vascular Plant Top

    Vascular_Plant_Top_Cover.tif.zip (89.5 MB)

  • Download

    Download :: Vascular Plant Total

    Vascular_Plant_Total_Cover.tif.vat.zip (107 MB)

  • View report

    Report :: Journal Publication


Status: Complete
Type: Data
End Date: 2016/02/11
Data Types: GIS, Image
Other Contacts
Name: Matthew J. Macander
Email: mmacander@abrinc.com
Phone: 9074556777
Primary Organizations
ABR, Inc.

Funding Organization
Shell Exploration and Production Company

North Slope

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