Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Thackway national cond

319 views

Published on

VAST-2 – Condition assessment method. Presentation given to the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), National Condition Workshop held at the Mt Lofty House, Adelaide on 11-13 June 2014

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Thackway national cond

  1. 1. VAST-2 – Condition assessment method Richard Thackway Presentation to National Condition Workshop, Adelaide 11-13 June 2014
  2. 2. Outline • Concepts • Drivers of information native vegetation information • VAST a framework • Why was VAST-2 developed? • Overview of VAST-2 • Example of assessment • Where to next
  3. 3. Definitions - Condition and transformation • Change in a plant community (type) due to effects of land management practices (LMP): – Structure – Composition – Regenerative capacity • Resilience = the capacity of a plant community to recover toward a reference state following a change/s in land management • Transformation = changes to vegetation condition over time • Condition, resilience and transformation are assessed relative to fully natural a reference state Vegetation condition
  4. 4. Land management changes ecological function to derive multiple benefits (ecosystem services) Regulation of hydrological regime Generation of food and fibre Regulation of climate / microclimate Generation of raw materials Recycling of organic matter Creating and regulating habitats Controlling reproduction and dispersal
  5. 5. Drivers of info on native veg condition • Design and implement NRM policy and programs e.g. – Protecting threatened plant communities under the EPBC ACT – Guidelines for enhancing over-cleared landscapes – Setting thresholds for environmental flows • Resource condition of native vegetation e.g. – Tracking status, change and trend in, natural resources e.g. SoE, SoFR, connectivity – Environmental accounting e.g. native veg account Wentworth Group • Monitoring and reporting e.g. – Outcomes of investment incl. performance reporting e.g. envt flows – Long term transformation of vegetated landscapes
  6. 6. Information on condition is needed for the following steps in NRM
  7. 7. VAST - A framework for assessing & reporting Increasing modification caused by land management 0 I II III IV V VI Residual or unmodified Native vegetation cover Vegetation Assets States and Transitions (VAST) framework Transitions = trend Non-native vegetation cover Vegetation thresholds Reference for each veg type (NVIS) vegetation condition Condition states Naturally bare Modified Transformed Replaced - Adventive Replaced - managed Replaced - removed Thackway & Lesslie (2008) Environmental Management, 42, 572-90 Diagnostic attributes of VAST states: • Vegetation structure • Species composition • Regenerative capacity NVIS
  8. 8. Vegetation condition – a snapshot (2010) Thackway & Lesslie (2008) Environmental Management, 42, 572-90 / unmodified / replaced Naracoorte Coastal Plan NB: Input dataset biophysical naturalness reclassified using VAST framework
  9. 9. Reporting change in condition using Vegetation Types (NVIS/MVG), and vegetation condition (VAST) Source: ABARES 2013 Veg type (NVIS/MVG) VAST NVIS: National Vegetation Information System MVG: Major Vegetation Groups
  10. 10. Why was VAST-2 developed? To enable improved national assessment and reporting of change and trend over time using the VAST framework by Tracking the effects of land management on core attributes of • Vegetation structure • Species composition • Regenerative capacity To help answer key questions: • What is this landscape’s story of change to native veg? • past and present • Can we use that knowledge to help land managers restore and or enhance their native vegetation?
  11. 11. VAST-2 transformation pathway - model Anthropogenic change Occupation Relaxation Net gain/ benefit 1800 1850 1900 1950 2000 Time Reference Vegetation modification score Based on Hamilton, Brown & Nolan 2008. FWPA PRO7.1050. pg 18 Land use impacts on biodiversity and Life Cycle Analysis
  12. 12. VAST-2 assesses effects of land management on attributes of native veg condition over time Land managers use land management practices (LMP) to influence ecological function at sites and across landscapes by: • Modifying • Removing and replacing • Enhancing LUMIS • Restoring • Maintaining • Improving The effects of these practices can be observed /measured in changes in variables/attributes: • Vegetation structure • Species composition and • Regenerative capacity LUMIS = Land Use and Management Information System
  13. 13. VAST-2 focuses on tracking effects of land management on 10 attribute groups/criteria Regenerative capacity/ function Soil Vegetation 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 LUMIS = Land Use and Management Information System
  14. 14. General process for tracking change over time using the VAST-2 system Transformation site • Compile and collate effects of land management on criteria (10) and indicators (22) over time. • Evaluate impacts on the plant community over time Reference state/sites • Compile and collate effects of land management on criteria (10) and indicators (22) 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 (58%), vegetation structure (27%) and species composition (18%) by adding predefined indicators Generate total indices for ‘transformation site’ for each year of the historical record. Validate using Expert Knowledge
  15. 15. Data synthesis and hierarchy Site Transformation score/site /year 1 Diagnostic attributes 3 Criteria i.e. attribute groups 10 Indicators / attribute 22
  16. 16. 1 3 10 22 Diagnostic attributes Regenerative capacity Data synthesis and hierarchy Vegetation structure Species composition Vegetation Transformation score reprod potent fire soil overstorey understorey structure nutrients biology overstorey understorey Attribute groups hydrology Indicators/ attributes
  17. 17. Diagnostic attributes (3) [VAST] Attribute groups /criteria (10) Indicators/attributes of vegetation and ecological processes (22) Regenerative capacity Fire regime 1. Area /size of fire foot prints 2. Number of fire starts Soil hydrology 3. Soil surface water availability 4. Ground water availability Soil physical state 5. Depth of the A horizon 6. Soil structure Soil nutrient state 7. Nutrient stress – rundown (deficiency) relative to soil fertility 8. Nutrient stress – excess (toxicity) relative to soil fertility Soil biological state 9. Recyclers responsible for maintaining soil porosity and nutrient recycling 10. Surface organic matter, soil crusts Reproductive potential 11. Reproductive potential of overstorey structuring species 12. Reproductive potential of understorey structuring species Vegetation structure Overstorey structure 13. Overstorey top height (mean) of the plant community 14. Overstorey foliage projective cover (mean) of the plant community 15. Overstorey structural diversity (i.e. a diversity of age classes) of the stand Understorey structure 16. Understorey top height (mean) of the plant community 17. Understorey ground cover (mean) of the plant community 18. Understorey structural diversity (i.e. a diversity of age classes) of the plant Species Composition Overstorey composition 19. Densities of overstorey species functional groups 20. Relative number of overstorey species (richness) of indigenous :exotic spp Understorey composition 21. Densities of understorey species functional groups 22. Relative number of understorey species (richness) of indigenous :exotic spp
  18. 18. Importance of dynamics Rainfall is assumed to be main driver of ecosystem dynamics • Period 1900 - 2014 • Average seasonal rainfall (summer, autumn, …) • Rainfall anomaly is calculated above and below the mean • Two year running trend line fitted
  19. 19. Rainfall anomaly relative to mean 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/
  20. 20. Method: VAST-2 LMP = Land Management Practices Effects on attributes, attribute groups and diagnostic attributes Time Cause
  21. 21. Certainty level standards used to compile historic record Certainty level standards Spatial precision (Scale) Temporal precision (Year of observation) Attribute accuracy (Land use, land management practices, effects on condition) HIGH "Definite” Reliable direct quantitative data. Code: 1 Reliable direct quantitative data. Code: 4 Reliable direct quantitative data. Code: 7 MEDIUM "Probable " Direct (with qualifications) or strong indirect data. Code: 2 Direct (with qualifications) or strong indirect data. Code: 5 Direct (with qualifications) or strong indirect data. Code: 8 LOW "Possible" Limited qualitative and possibly contradictory observations. More data needed. Code: 3 Limited qualitative and possibly contradictory observations. More data needed. Code: 6 Limited qualitative and possibly contradictory observations. More data needed. Code: 9
  22. 22. Example: Bridge Hill Ridge- post mining restoration VAST-2 key attribute groups Reference state Transformation site Fire regime * * Soil hydrology * * Soil physical state * ** Soil nutrient state ** * Soil biological state * * Reproductive potential *** *** Overstorey vegetation structure *** ** Understorey vegetation structure *** *** Overstorey species composition *** *** Understorey species composition *** *** *** Quantitative data /info * Qualitative data /info
  23. 23. Example: Bridge Hill Ridge- post mining restoration Predictions of mature forest (Bunning’s Enquiry 1974)
  24. 24. Where to next? • More sites • Scaling up change to the landscape scale – Indicators were chosen to scale up – Soil Assets States and Trends (CSIRO) – Modeling/remote sensing • Narrative – Proposal submitted to Fenner School – Historical – Current – Future
  25. 25. Paddock to national scale assessments TERN AusCover and its infrastructure is providing the potential to monitor several key ecological indicators across Australia at the paddock scale every month e.g. Ground cover (other colours) and FPC (green)
  26. 26. List of VAST-2 attributes/ indicators (22) Best source spatial data Time series or modeled Year/ RS source 1. Area /size of fire foot prints TERN AusCover Time series (RS) >2000 MODIS 2. Number of fire starts TERN AusCover Time series (RS) >2000 MODIS 3. Soil surface water availability CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 4. Ground water availability GA & CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 5. Depth of the A horizon CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 6. Soil structure CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 7. Nutrient stress – rundown (deficiency) relative to soil fertility CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 8. Nutrient stress – excess (toxicity) relative to soil fertility CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 9. Recyclers responsible for maintaining soil porosity and nutrient recycling ?? Modeled epochs NA 10. Surface organic matter, soil crusts CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 11. Reproductive potential of overstorey structuring species CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 12. Reproductive potential of understorey structuring species CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 13. Overstorey top height (mean) of the plant community TERN AusCover Snap shot (RS) 2009 Alos/Landsat/ ICESAT 14. Overstorey foliage projective cover (mean) of the plant community TERN AusCover Time series (RS) 2000-10 Landsat 15. Overstorey structural diversity (i.e. a diversity of age classes) of the stand TERN AusCover Snap shot (RS) 2009 Alos/Landsat/ ICESAT 16. Understorey top height (mean) of the plant community TERN AusCover Snap shot (RS) 2009 Alos/Landsat/ ICESAT 17. Understorey ground cover (mean) of plant community (fractional cover) TERN AusCover Time series (RS) 2000-10 Landsat 18. Understorey structural diversity (i.e. a diversity of age classes) of the plant CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 19. Densities of overstorey species functional groups (biomass) CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 20. Relative number of overstorey species (richness) of indigenous :exotic spp CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 21. Densities of understorey species functional groups (biomass) CSIRO Modeled epochs NA 22. Relative number of understorey species (richness) of indigenous :exotic spp CSIRO Modeled epochs NA
  27. 27. Conclusions VAST-2: • VAST and VAST-2 are integrated • Is a conceptual framework for assessing & reporting effects of land management on plant communities over time • Has been applied in a wide range of bioregional contexts, to: – monitor outcomes – evaluate progress towards targets – inform the design of research and experimental programs re adaptive management – tell the story of landscape transformation • Has relevance to managing biodiversity • Should be applied at the landscape level
  28. 28. Summary of VAST-2 method (1/2) • Establishes sites = ~ land unit i.e. homogeneous soil-landform • Establishes a reference site and transformation site • Change is assessed relative to a reference state • Uses a multi-criteria assessment method • Tracks the effects of LMP on core attributes of veg condition to build a historical record for a site/s of change • Uses an information hierarchy to assess change – Level 1 = Single transformation score at a point in time – Level 2 = VAST’s diagnostic attributes (VS, SC & RC) – Level 3 = 10 attribute groups/ key ecological criteria – Level 4 = 22 attributes/ core indicators
  29. 29. Summary of VAST-2 method (2/2) • Sources of data /info many and varied • Indicators are populated from qualitative and quantitative data sources over time • Dynamics are critical to assessing affects of LMP on natural productivity = long-term average monthly rainfall (5km grid) • Establishes a network of key collaborators for a site/s ecologists and land managers • Timeline starts ~1750 and assumes an indigenous managed landscape • Gaps in historical records are filled using expert elicitation • Use peer review to assess the veracity and accuracy of the assessment • List of attributes derived from lit review and LUMIS • List of attributes selected to operate at site and landscape levels
  30. 30. More info & Acknowledgements More information http://www.vasttransformations.com/ Acknowledgements • TERN ACEAS funded my sabbatical fellowship at the University of Queensland, Brisbane in 2010-11 • CSIRO Ecosystems Sciences for hosting me as a visiting research scientist, Canberra in 2010-11 • Many public and private land managers, land management agencies, consultants and researchers have provided data and information

×