Canadian Forest Service Publications

Computerized plant community classification: an application of fuzzy logic. 2002. Nadeau, L.B.; Li, Chao; Corns, I.G.W. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-384. 22 p.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20927

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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Abstract

Decisions for classifying a vegetation plot are based on expertise and can thus be subjective, with users having to judge the relative importance of overlapping biotic and abiotic components. Fuzzy logic can be used to incorporate experts' knowledge of ecosystems into computer programs. A classification of the forested portion of the Montane subregion of west-central Alberta by plant community type (a level more detailed than ecosite) was translated into a simple fuzzy logic program. The program was tested, by means of a fuzzy logic software package, FuzzyTECH, on 147 Ecological Site Information System plots compiled by Alberta Environment. The computer classification was identical with the experts' classification for 80% of the plots, and where differences occurred it was easy to identify the reasons for the discrepancies. Anyone who can identify plant species could be sent to the field to obtain the information needed for this type of computer analysis and classification.