LANDFIRE is a mapping program with products designed to support strategic vegetation, fire, and fuels management planning across multiple boundaries. Its geospatial products describe potential and existing vegetation, surface and canopy fuel characteristics, and simulated historical fire regimes conditions.
Vegetation: Products range from maps of existing vegetation types, to maps of dominant vegetation pre Euro-American settlement (biophysical settings), to simple models that can be used to compare historic and current vegetation conditions. LANDFIRE uses vegetation products to create fuel and fire regimes data. Most vegetation products use NatureServe's Ecological Systems classification.
Fuel: Data describe the composition and characteristics of surface and canopy fuel.
Fire: Historical fire regimes, intervals, and vegetation conditions are mapped using the Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT).
Disturbance: Products reflect change on the landscape caused by management activities and natural disturbance, and are created by compiling data from many different sources (Landsat satellite imagery, user-contributed data, Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire, Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity, etc.). Products include maps which represent disturbance type, severity, and year.
Topography: Products include basic information on slope, aspect and elevation, compiled from a variety of sources.
While LANDFIRE has developed tools that help managers compare current to reference (aka "historic") conditions, the LANDFIRE team understands that managers also need to look into a future that includes new drivers such as exotic invasives, and climate change. In addition to providing input data for ecological models, both spatial and aspatial, LANDFIRE products can accommodate climate change information such as:
Changing disturbance probabilities. For example, Louis Provencher and colleagues in Nevada have modified LANDFIRE reference condition models to represent current ecosystems, then added predicted future changes in fire regimes, potential restoration and other disturbances to explore what their ecosystems may look like, and how to adapt.
LANDFIRE ecological modeling was done in Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool (VDDT). VDDT has been updated to a new platform called Path (http://essa.com/tools/path/) that allows for modeling inter-ecosystem shifts (i.e., acres converting to new ecosystems over time).
LANDFIRE's Biophyical Settings Descriptions are being used on the Hiawatha National Forest as a framework for assessing potential climate change impacts. These descriptions are robust, have associated ecological models (to be manipulated in Path) and are mapped.
Are you using LANDFIRE for climate change planning? If so, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since LANDFIRE represents a wide variety of products with many potential applications, users will need to ensure that the product they are using is appropriate for a particular application.