Canadian Forest Service Publications

Evaluating natural reserve design efficacy in the Canadian boreal forest using time series AVHRR data. 2016. Powers, R.P.; Coops, N.C.; Nelson, T.; Wulder, M.A. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. Vol. 42, No. 3.

Year: 2016

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36755

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1080/07038992.2016.1171065

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Abstract

This research evaluates the efficacy of candidate reserves in boreal ecosystems with respect to a long term record of remote sensing derived productivity based on the dynamic habitat index (DHI) generated using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data (1987-2007) and compared differences related to reserve location (stratified by land cover, ecozone and gross primary productivity (GPP)) and reserve size. Effectiveness of candidate reserves was assessed by how productivity values differed from the initial conditions (2000-2005 baseline). Results indicate that small reserves (<1000 km2) at high elevations, high latitudes, intermittent environments (wetlands) or dominated by open shrub experienced the greatest amount of inter-annual variability. Alternately, larger reserves (≥1000 km2; <10000 km2) were stable under these same conditions. Results also indicate that reserves located in highly productive areas (>700 kgC m-2 yr-1) experienced greater inter-annual variability than low productivity areas. This approach provides an objective and consistent means of evaluating reserve efficacy across different geographic areas and through time. By highlighting uncertainty associated with change impacts, this approach also offers opportunities to develop more robust long-term conservation targets in new reserves and to test potential mitigation strategies prior to implementation.

Plain Language Summary

This research evaluates the efficacy of candidate reserves in boreal ecosystems with respect to a long term record of remote sensing derived productivity based on the dynamic habitat index (DHI) generated using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data (1987-2007) and compared differences related to reserve location (stratified by land cover, ecozone and gross primary productivity (GPP)) and reserve size. Effectiveness of candidate reserves was assessed by how productivity values differed from the initial conditions (2000-2005 baseline). Results indicate that small reserves (<1000 km2) at high elevations, high latitudes, intermittent environments (wetlands) or dominated by open shrub experienced the greatest amount of inter-annual variability. Alternately, larger reserves (≥1000 km2; <10000 km2) were stable under these same conditions. Results also indicate that reserves located in highly productive areas (>700 kgC m-2 yr-1) experienced greater inter-annual variability than low productivity areas. This approach provides an objective and consistent means of evaluating reserve efficacy across different geographic areas and through time. By highlighting uncertainty associated with change impacts, this approach also offers opportunities to develop more robust long-term conservation targets in new reserves and to test potential mitigation strategies prior to implementation.

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