High scoring land cover patches tend to be larger patches with a high percentage of core area, in proximity to similar land cover patches. Lower scoring patches tend to be smaller patches, with little or no core area, isolated from similar land cover patches. Moderate scoring patches fall in between the high and low extremes. More
These areas represent places known to contain rare species or high quality natural communities. The selected areas are based on a model of the MNFI natural heritage database. This database contains the known locations of rare species and high quality or rare natural communities. The model takes into account the known extent and the uncertainty of a species' location, the presence of available habitat within that extent, the age of the record, the species' global imperilment, state imperilment, and the viability of the occurrence.
The areas presented here are those that score above a certain threshold value. They represent the top 5% of scored areas in the state. These areas contain highly imperiled species or concentrations of lesser imperiled species and natural communities.
In this analysis land cover patches defined by the MDNR Integrated Forest Monitoring, Assessment and Prescription (IFMAP) land cover dataset (MDNR 2001) are scored for various criteria.
The IFMAP dataset is a raster dataset of 30-m resolution cells derived from remotely-sensed Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. A total of 35 different land cover classifications are identified in IFMAP. The IFMAP land cover data are aggregated into 16 general land cover types comprised of the following: Upland Deciduous Forest, Upland Coniferous Forest, Upland Mixed Forest, Lowland Deciduous Forest, Lowland Coniferous Forest, Lowland Mixed Forest, Grassland, Shrub, Non-forested Wetland, Pines, Pasture/Parks, Agriculture, Sand/Soil, Bare Soil/Rock, Urban, and Water. The agriculture, bare soil/rock, urban, and water cover types were excluded from the analysis.
Each cover type patch was scored for three criteria: area, core area, and proximity to similar patches. Scores ranged from one to four, with one being a low score and four the highest score for each criterion. Some land cover types occur over much larger areas than do certain other types in Michigan. Thus, cover types were classified into large patch or small patch communities for area scoring. Large patch communities consisted of Grassland, Upland Deciduous Forest, Upland Coniferous Forest, Upland Mixed Forest, Lowland Deciduous Forest, Lowland Coniferous Forest, Lowland Mixed Forest, Shrub, Pines, and Pasture/Parks. Small patch communities were Non-forested Wetland and Sand/Soil.
Over 2 million potential habitat patches were scored. Based on a distribution of final scores, each potential habitat patch was assigned to a high, moderate, or low scoring group.
This gazetteer is designed to provide users with information to assist in making informed conservation decisions. A key component is a scoring of potential habitat patches based on three criteria, area, core area, and connectivity. These scored habitat patches are then grouped into high, moderate, and low scoring groups. Users can see maps based all land cover types combined or broken out into different land cover types, e.g. open wetlands, upland deciduous forest, etc… Users must realize these data are based on a 2001 land cover dataset. Landscape conditions may have changed since creation of the data set. In addition, the model used to score the habitat patches is still being tested. Test results could change groupings.
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