Hydro-geomorphic landtype association mapping in Pennsylvania.
Kong, Ningning*,1, Myers, Wayne1, 1 Penn State University, University Park
ABSTRACT- Landtype association (LTA) is one spatial scale of a hierarchical ecological classification system developed by the USDA-Forest Service for use in ecosystem management and monitoring. LTAs are complexes of complementary landscape components that combine through spatial adjacency to create ecological contrasts across regions. The main objective of this study was to develop and describe the landtype associations (LTAs) in Pennsylvania. Based on hydro-geomorphic characteristics, three types of LTAs, highland habitats (HH), transitional terraces (TT), and dual drainages (DD), were divided at the landscape scale. A GIS-assisted, top-down classification method was adopted in the mapping procedure, and totally, there were 10,783 LTA units delineated across the state with the size ranging from 100 to 5000 acres. Further more, these units were divided into subtypes under each of the three categories, according to their geographic positions, relief characteristics and polygon appearances. Relationships between LTA units and other spatial information, which include hydrologic, ecological, and land cover characteristics, were further analyzed. The preliminary results indicated that the stream densities, animal species habitats, and land cover patterns had extensive differences between different types of LTAs. In most of the physiographic sections, the first-order stream node densities were much higher in the highland habitats and transitional terraces, while higher order stream node densities were higher in the dual drainages. However, stream densities were higher in dual drainages for all stream orders. LTA units could also differentiate habitats for certain animal species in each physiographic section. In addition, there were more deciduous forests in highland habitats and transitional terraces, but more row crops, hay/pasture, urban, and water areas in dual drainages.
Key words: Ecological mapping, Landtype associations
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