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Application of land management
information to improve the tracking of
changes and trends in the extent and
condition of na...
Outline
• Set the context why land management practice (LMP)
information is important?
• How do LMP change vegetation exte...
Setting the context
• Most changes over time in the extent and condition of native
vegetation types can be accounted by ch...
The case for linking LMP and effects on
structure, composition & function
• Land management practices (LMPs) are the ‘driv...
Modification of sites and landscapes
Indigenous
land
management
First
explorers
Grazing
Degreeof
resilience/condition
Trac...
Why is
native
vegetation
extent and
condition
important?
Yapp, Walker and Thackway 2010
VAST 1 Residual/unmodified*
VAST I...
How do management practices
change vegetation condition over
time?
How do land managers modify structure, composition &
function (i.e. resilience) over time?
LMP that focus on soil
LMP that...
Common interventions designed to influence
structure, composition & function
Various interventions:
Land management practi...
Time series: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 Land management practices that effect vegetation structure, composition and function i.e.
...
How does LUMIS work?
LUMIS is a framework
• to compile and classify management practices /actions into 6 themes:
– Water
–...
What has all this got to do with
assessing the effects that land
management practices on native
vegetation condition over ...
Concepts and definitions
• Resilience = the capacity of an plant community to recover
toward a reference state following a...
Compiling the effects that LMP have on native
vegetation condition over time
LMP = Land Management Practices
Effects on at...
Year Source:
Year
LU & LMP Source:
LU & LMP
Effects of land use and
management on criteria and
indicators of vegetation
co...
WA Wheatbelt
BOM rainfall
anomaly
1900-2010
(modelled 5 km
resolution)
Derived from
monthly
modelled
rainfall data
obtaine...
VAST = Vegetation Assets States and Transitions
NVIS = National Vegetation Information System
VIVIVIIIIII0
Native vegetati...
Generate total indices for ‘transformation site’ for each year of the
historical record. Validate using Expert Knowledge
•...
Components
(3)
Criteria
(10)
Description of loss or gain relative to pre settlement indicator reference state
(22)Regenera...
1
3
10
22
Components
(3)
Vegetation
Transformation
Score
(1)
Criteria
(10)
Vegetation
Structure
(27%)
Overstorey
(3)
Under...
Case studies using VAST-2
Data and information used to populate the 22
indicators are derived either by direct measure in ...
Three sites with different land management histories
Reference plant community type: Sub-tropical rainforest
Source: J.W. Beattie. NSW State Library
Phillip Is, South Pacific
Source: Peter Coyne
Reference
1906
Reference plant community type: Cool temperate rainforest
Source: Forestry Commission NSW
Mount Boss State Forest, NSW
1961
Reference
Source: Ross Peacock
Reference plant community type: Tussock grassland
Regionalecosystem8.12.13a
Regionalecosystem8.12.13b
Source: Jeanette Kemp
North Molle, IsReference
2009
Source: Jeanette K...
Why do we need to collect data on
• land management practices /actions
When we already collect
• attributes on vegetation ...
http://data.auscover.org.au/xwiki/bin/view/Product+pages/BurntArea+DoB+MODIS+CDU
1986 ongoing annual
Monitoring Burnt Area...
Source: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/soilandlandscapegrid/ViewData-QuickView.html
Available Water Capacity
VAST-2 Indicat...
Source: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/soilandlandscapegrid/ViewData-QuickView.html
Bulk density
VAST-2 Indicator 6
Source: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/soilandlandscapegrid/ViewData-QuickView.html
Organic Carbon
VAST-2 Indicator 10
Composites of persistence green cover and ALOS PALSAR HH and HV Source: Richard Lucas
Overstorey height, cover & structura...
Overstorey height, cover & structural diversity
Structural indicators 13, 14 & 15
Source: Peter ScarthPolygons based on La...
.
Persistent Green Fraction derived from Landsat archive
min
max
mask
Not per
Overstorey foliage cover
Structural indicato...
0
20
40
60
80
100
1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010
Year
FPC
Source: Tim Danaher
1986 ongoing annual
Overstorey foliage cover
...
Ground Cover
Structural indicator 17
Source: http://data.auscover.org.au/xwiki/bin/view/Product+pages/Landsat+Fractional+C...
Ground Cover
Structural indicator 17
Source: Phil Tickle CRCSI
Monitoring Ground Cover
VAST-2 indicator 17
Source: Phil Tickle
Belconnen naval transmitter station, ACT
Why has the collection and development of
LMP been so neglected?
Some reasons why LMP data are neglected
• LMP are regarded as too complex in space and time
• Ecologists tend to regard LM...
More work needs to done
• Remote sensing and environmental models of extent and condition of
types provide variable answer...
What can land managers do?
• Systematically record, collect and compile land management practices
• Develop a capacity to ...
Conclusions
• There are many opportunities for public-private partnerships to collect
LMP data and the observed effects on...
More info & Acknowledgements
More information
http://www.vasttransformations.com/
http://portal.tern.org.au/search
http://...
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Application of land management information to improve the tracking of changes and trends in the extent and condition of native vegetation

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Most changes over time in the extent and condition of native vegetation types can be accounted by changes in Land use and land management practices (LMP). Obvious changes and trends in the structure, composition and function of native vegetation can be detected using remote sensing. While environmental models are helpful they must access site data on the effects that LMP have on essential environmental variables. More subtle changes in native vegetation extent and condition must be directly measured using ground-based observations of the interactions to attribute cause and effect to natural processes and LMP. Ideally we need an information system which informs the survey, classification and mapping and modelling of LMP at various scales

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Application of land management information to improve the tracking of changes and trends in the extent and condition of native vegetation

  1. 1. Application of land management information to improve the tracking of changes and trends in the extent and condition of native vegetation Richard Thackway Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Brisbane 28 October 2015
  2. 2. Outline • Set the context why land management practice (LMP) information is important? • How do LMP change vegetation extent and condition • Need for a systems approach to collect LMP data • Case studies at site level – application of LMP • Opportunities to monitor and report and regional scales • Where to from here • Conclusions
  3. 3. Setting the context • Most changes over time in the extent and condition of native vegetation types can be accounted by changes in LU and LMP • Obvious changes and trends in the structure, composition and function of native vegetation can be detected using remote sensing • While environmental models are helpful they must access site data on the effects that LMP have on essential environmental variables • More subtle changes in native vegetation extent and condition must be measured using ground-based observations of the interactions – Cause and effect of natural processes and LMP LU = Land use LMP = land management practices
  4. 4. The case for linking LMP and effects on structure, composition & function • Land management practices (LMPs) are the ‘drivers’ that have been, are, or maybe used to transform landscapes and ecosystem services • Some threats in reality, are LMPs that are not adequately resourced e.g. – Late dry season wildfire – Invasive native animals – Feral animals – Weeds • A decision not to use LMP to manage/control or intervene is still a LMP decision that can have an effect on structure, composition & function • NB: some changes in structure, composition & function are due to natural drives e.g. drought, floods, cyclones, climate change
  5. 5. Modification of sites and landscapes Indigenous land management First explorers Grazing Degreeof resilience/condition Tracked vehicles Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Time Reference state Long term rainfall Long term disturbance e.g. wildfire, cyclones Revegetation Condition classes Weeds Ferals 2015 Prescribed burning Same ecosystem i.e. vegetation type
  6. 6. Why is native vegetation extent and condition important? Yapp, Walker and Thackway 2010 VAST 1 Residual/unmodified* VAST II1 Transformed * Reference
  7. 7. How do management practices change vegetation condition over time?
  8. 8. How do land managers modify structure, composition & function (i.e. resilience) over time? LMP that focus on soil LMP that focus on native vegetation Regenerative capacity/ function Vegetation structure & Species composition 1. Soil hydrological status 2. Soil physical status 3. Soil chemical status 4. Soil biological status 5. Fire regime 6. Reproductive potential 7. Overstorey structure 8. Understorey structure 9. Overstorey composition 10. Understorey composition LMP = Land Management Practices Focussing on 10 key criteria
  9. 9. Common interventions designed to influence structure, composition & function Various interventions: Land management practices (LMP) are used to influence ecological building blocks at sites and landscapes by: • Modifying … • Removing and replacing … • Enhancing … • Restoring … • Maintaining … • Improving … Various purposes: Including wood production, biodiversity conservation, water quality, minimize detection To achieve the desired mix of ecosystem services (space & time)
  10. 10. Time series: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 Land management practices that effect vegetation structure, composition and function i.e. extent and condition Key criteria that land managers deliberately or inadvertently change Restoration and rehabilitation Growth, maturity and reproduction Harvest biomass or productivity Monitoring health & vitality No activity Degrade, extirpate or remove and/or replace 1. Soil hydrological status (Fn) 2. Soil physical status (Fn) 3. Soil chemical status (Fn) 4. Soil biological status (Fn) 5. Fire regime (Fn) 6. Reproductive potential (Fn) 7. Overstorey structure (St) 8. Understorey structure (St) 9. Overstorey composition (Co) 10. Understorey composition (Co) Need a framework for collecting LMP and their effects on extent and condition Criteria Fn = functional St = structural Co = compositional LMP = Land Management Practices LUMIS = Land use and management information system
  11. 11. How does LUMIS work? LUMIS is a framework • to compile and classify management practices /actions into 6 themes: – Water – Plants/Vegetation – Animals – Soil – Air – Business • That focuses on what land managers are managing vegetation for i.e the LMP they are using – Establishing and rehabilitating – Improving and maintaining growth and condition – Harvesting plant products and/or removing waste incl. weeds – Monitoring health, vitality and condition – No activity or interventions – Degrading, extirpating or removing and/or replacing LUMIS = Land Use and Management Information System
  12. 12. What has all this got to do with assessing the effects that land management practices on native vegetation condition over time?
  13. 13. Concepts and definitions • Resilience = the capacity of an plant community to recover toward a reference state following a change/s in land management • Change in condition of a plant community (type) is due to effects of land management practices on indicators of: – Vegetation structure – Species composition – Regenerative capacity • Transformation = changes in vegetation condition over time • Condition, resilience and transformation are assessed relative to a fully natural Reference state Vegetation condition (a composite index)
  14. 14. Compiling the effects that LMP have on native vegetation condition over time LMP = Land Management Practices Effects on attributes, attribute groups and diagnostic attributes Time Cause LUMIS
  15. 15. Year Source: Year LU & LMP Source: LU & LMP Effects of land use and management on criteria and indicators of vegetation condition Source: Effects 1800 1840 2015 Establish a chronology of data and information of causes and effects /observed & measured responses LU = Land Use, LMP = Land Management Practices LUMIS
  16. 16. WA Wheatbelt BOM rainfall anomaly 1900-2010 (modelled 5 km resolution) Derived from monthly modelled rainfall data obtained from http://www.lon gpaddock.qld.go v.au/silo/ Rainfall anomaly relative to mean
  17. 17. VAST = Vegetation Assets States and Transitions NVIS = National Vegetation Information System VIVIVIIIIII0 Native vegetation cover Non-native vegetation cover Increasing modification caused by use and management Transitions = trend Vegetation thresholds Reference for each veg type (NVIS) A framework for assessing modification of native vegetation condition Condition states Residual or unmodified Naturally bare Modified Transformed Replaced - Adventive Replaced - managed Replaced - removed Thackway & Lesslie (2008) Environmental Management, 42, 572-90 Diagnostic attributes of VAST (classes): • Vegetation structure • Species composition • Regenerative capacity VAST-2 criteria and indicators Change & Trend NVIS
  18. 18. Generate total indices for ‘transformation site’ for each year of the historical record. Validate using Expert Knowledge • Compile and collate effects of land management on criteria (10) and indicators (22) over time. • Evaluate impacts on the plant community over time Transformation site • Compile and collate effects of land management on criteria (10) and indicators (22) Reference state/sites Score all 22 indicators for ‘transformation site’ relative to the ‘reference site’. 0 = major change; 1 = no change Derive weighted indices for the ‘transformation site’ i.e. regenerative capacity (55%), vegetation structure (27%) and species composition (18%) by adding predefined indicators General process for tracking change over time
  19. 19. Components (3) Criteria (10) Description of loss or gain relative to pre settlement indicator reference state (22)Regenerativecapacity Fire regime Change in the area /size of fire foot prints Change in the number of fire starts Soil hydrology Change in the soil surface water availability Change in the ground water availability Soil physical state Change in the depth of the A horizon Change in soil structure. Soil nutrient state Nutrient stress – rundown (deficiency) relative to soil fertility Nutrient stress – excess (toxicity) relative to soil fertility Soil biological state Change in the recyclers responsible for maintaining soil porosity and nutrient recycling Change in surface organic matter, soil crusts Reproductive potential Change in the reproductive potential of overstorey structuring species Change in the reproductive potential of understorey structuring species Vegetationstructure Overstorey structure Change in the overstorey top height (mean) of the plant community Change in the overstorey foliage projective cover (mean) of the plant community Change in the overstorey structural diversity (i.e. a diversity of age classes) of the stand Understorey structure Change in the understorey top height (mean) of the plant community Change in the understorey ground cover (mean) of the plant community Change in the understorey structural diversity (i.e. a diversity of age classes) of the plant Species Composition Overstorey composition Change in the densities of overstorey species functional groups Change in no.s of indigenous overstorey species relative to the number of exotic species Understorey composition Change in the densities of understorey species functional groups Change in no.s of indigenous understorey species relative to the number of exotic species
  20. 20. 1 3 10 22 Components (3) Vegetation Transformation Score (1) Criteria (10) Vegetation Structure (27%) Overstorey (3) Understorey (3) Species Composition (18%) (2) UnderstoreyOverstorey (2) Regenerative Capacity (55%) Fire (2) Reprod potent (2) Soil Hydrology (2) Biology (2) Nutrients (2) Structure (2) Indicators (22) VAST-2 – benchmark scoring of the effects of use and management of native veg (indicators) over time
  21. 21. Case studies using VAST-2 Data and information used to populate the 22 indicators are derived either by direct measure in the field or from expert models or a combination of both
  22. 22. Three sites with different land management histories
  23. 23. Reference plant community type: Sub-tropical rainforest
  24. 24. Source: J.W. Beattie. NSW State Library Phillip Is, South Pacific Source: Peter Coyne Reference 1906
  25. 25. Reference plant community type: Cool temperate rainforest
  26. 26. Source: Forestry Commission NSW Mount Boss State Forest, NSW 1961 Reference Source: Ross Peacock
  27. 27. Reference plant community type: Tussock grassland
  28. 28. Regionalecosystem8.12.13a Regionalecosystem8.12.13b Source: Jeanette Kemp North Molle, IsReference 2009 Source: Jeanette Kemp
  29. 29. Why do we need to collect data on • land management practices /actions When we already collect • attributes on vegetation structure, composition and function?
  30. 30. http://data.auscover.org.au/xwiki/bin/view/Product+pages/BurntArea+DoB+MODIS+CDU 1986 ongoing annual Monitoring Burnt Area and Approximate Day of Burn VAST-2 indicators 1 & 2 MODIS Landsat
  31. 31. Source: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/soilandlandscapegrid/ViewData-QuickView.html Available Water Capacity VAST-2 Indicator 3 & 4
  32. 32. Source: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/soilandlandscapegrid/ViewData-QuickView.html Bulk density VAST-2 Indicator 6
  33. 33. Source: http://www.clw.csiro.au/aclep/soilandlandscapegrid/ViewData-QuickView.html Organic Carbon VAST-2 Indicator 10
  34. 34. Composites of persistence green cover and ALOS PALSAR HH and HV Source: Richard Lucas Overstorey height, cover & structural diversity Structural indicators 13, 14 & 15
  35. 35. Overstorey height, cover & structural diversity Structural indicators 13, 14 & 15 Source: Peter ScarthPolygons based on Landsat FPC (persistent green) and Allos radar backscatter at 25m Vertical structure from IceSat . Mantuan Downs, Qld
  36. 36. . Persistent Green Fraction derived from Landsat archive min max mask Not per Overstorey foliage cover Structural indicator 14 Source: http://data.auscover.org.au/xwiki/bin/view/Product+pages/Landsat+Fractional+Cover 1986 ongoing annual
  37. 37. 0 20 40 60 80 100 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Year FPC Source: Tim Danaher 1986 ongoing annual Overstorey foliage cover Structural indicator 14
  38. 38. Ground Cover Structural indicator 17 Source: http://data.auscover.org.au/xwiki/bin/view/Product+pages/Landsat+Fractional+Cover Red areas are bare ground Green is showing green cover Blue is showing non- green veg cover
  39. 39. Ground Cover Structural indicator 17 Source: Phil Tickle CRCSI
  40. 40. Monitoring Ground Cover VAST-2 indicator 17 Source: Phil Tickle Belconnen naval transmitter station, ACT
  41. 41. Why has the collection and development of LMP been so neglected?
  42. 42. Some reasons why LMP data are neglected • LMP are regarded as too complex in space and time • Ecologists tend to regard LMP as high noise : signal i.e. social science • Cheaper to collect, classify and interpret post hoc patterns in RS images • Lack of recognised LMP standards: survey, classification & mapping • Knowledge of the effects of LMP on ecosystem structure, composition and function is held locally • Cheaper not to measure management systems but to assign a code of practice e.g. public forestry
  43. 43. More work needs to done • Remote sensing and environmental models of extent and condition of types provide variable answers - definitely not 100% • Challenge - to systematically collect/compile, site data over time on – effects on LMP on key indicators of vegetation extent and condition
  44. 44. What can land managers do? • Systematically record, collect and compile land management practices • Develop a capacity to use the LUMIS framework • Develop an understanding of resultant changes & trends in key veg /ecological attributes i.e. adaptive management – Structure, composition and function of the native vegetation • Work with public/private land management agencies to develop and implement systems to track outcomes of adaptive management • Access and use government generated multi-spatial and multi-temporal whole of landscape datasets in day-to-day management & give feedback
  45. 45. Conclusions • There are many opportunities for public-private partnerships to collect LMP data and the observed effects on vegetation extent and condition • LUMIS was developed as Commonwealth /state agency partnership but it has not been published and therefore is largely unused • Compiling and synthesizing site-based LMP data over time provides powerful insights into patterns observed in time series remote sensing • Ideally we need an information system which informs the survey, classification and mapping and modelling of LMP at various scales
  46. 46. More info & Acknowledgements More information http://www.vasttransformations.com/ http://portal.tern.org.au/search http://aceas-data.science.uq.edu.au/portal/ Acknowledgements • University of Queensland, Department of Geography Planning and Environmental Management for ongoing research support • Many public and private land managers, land management agencies, consultants and researchers have assisted in the development of VAST & VAST-2 • I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of following researchers for access to, and use of their research: Peter Coyne (Phillip Island, Norfolk Island Territory, South Pacific); Ross Peacock (ex-mount Boss State Forest compartment 77, Willi Willi National Park, Hastings-Macleay Group of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests); Keith McDonald (North Molle Island, (northern and central section), Molle Group, Cumberland Islands, Qld)

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