Ecosite Mapping

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Ecosite Mapping
Ecological Mapping
Project
Municipal Development
Plan (Bylaw 15100, 2010)
1 of 9 strategic goals
“Edmonton protects, preserves, and
enhances its natural environment by
maintaining the integrity and
interconnectivity of its natural areas,
river valley, water resources, parks
and open spaces, recognizing that
these elements form a functioning
ecological network within the Capital
Region.”
Ecological Network Approach
• Based on conservation science
• Aims to protect biodiversity
and ecological functions
• Recognizes natural connections
between natural areas
• Elements of an Ecological
Network:
– Regional Core Biodiversity Areas
– Core Biodiversity Areas
– Stepping Stones and linkages
(natural & semi-natural)
– Matrix
Source: Croatian State Institute for National Ecological Network
Edmonton’s Ecological
Network
Natural Connections
Strategic Plan, 2007
UNDERSTAND
Assessment of
Goals: 2010
Secure
Manage
Action Areas:
Action Areas:
1) Natural Area Securement
2) Naturalization & Restoration
1) Ecological Impact
Prevention
2) Invasive Plant
Management
3) Wetland Mitigation
Engage
Action Areas:
1) Stewardship
2) Education & Awareness
3) Citizen Science
Existing Programs:
Natural Area tracking
Natural Area Loss Assessment
Case Study: NW7009 (ESA)
• McDonagh Peatland
• Black spruce-larch, balsam poplar, and
willow/sedge communities
• Marl pools of various sizes
Existing Programs:
Natural Area tracking
Natural Area Loss Assessment
Case Study: NW7009 (ESA)
• McDonagh Peatland
• Black spruce-larch, balsam poplar, and
willow/sedge communities
• Marl pools of various sizes
Need: Understand
Monitoring & Research: High need area
Biodiversity Information systems: Very little in
place; tools for coordination really needed
Policy requirements of the tool
Natural Area Systems Policy
direction to Administration:
1) Plan our city so that our ecological systems
will function effectively at neighbourhood,
city and regional scales
2) Conserve Edmonton’s natural area systems
in discharging their duties
Tool
requirement:
“Scalability”
of Ecological
Network Approach
• Ecological Network Model works on any
Continental
to Sitefor crossMust scale:
be replicable
and allow
jurisdictional
data
sharing
and planning.
• Promotes
systems
thinking,
intergovernmental collaboration
Provide a spatial inventory of the City’s
Ecological “Assets” (i.e. all natural and seminatural areas)
3) Require ecological information to support
planning and development applications
Neighbourhood/
Site
City
Establish a baseline against which land cover
and land use change can be measured and
modeled.
Regional
Provincial
National
Continental
Standardization of information received by the
City.
NETWORK SCALE
Policy requirements of the tool
Natural Area Systems Policy
direction to Administration:
Tool requirement:
1) Plan our city so that our ecological systems
will function effectively at neighbourhood,
city and regional scales
Must be replicable and allow for crossjurisdictional data sharing and planning.
2) Conserve Edmonton’s natural area systems
in discharging their duties
Provide a detailed spatial inventory of the
City’s Ecological “Assets” (i.e. all natural and
semi-natural areas)
3) Require ecological information to support
planning and development applications
Establish a baseline against which land cover
and land use change can be measured and
modeled.
Standardization of information received by the
City.
Policy requirements of the tool
Natural Area Systems Policy
direction to Administration:
Tool requirement:
1) Plan our city so that our ecological systems
will function effectively at neighbourhood,
city and regional scales
Must be replicable and allow for crossjurisdictional data sharing and planning.
2) Conserve Edmonton’s natural area systems
in discharging their duties
Provide a detailed spatial inventory of the
City’s Ecological “Assets” (i.e. all natural and
semi-natural areas)
3) Require ecological information to support
planning and development applications
Establish a baseline against which land cover
and land use change can be measured and
modeled.
Standardization of information received by the
City.
The tool: PLVI
• Primary Land and Vegetation Inventory (PLVI, GoA)
• An air photo-based, spatially referenced digital
inventory developed to identify the type and location
of ecological conditions in forested and parkland areas
of Alberta
• Main level of
classification:
ecological site
phase & site type
We go
from this
(presence/
absence):
To this:
• Detailed
ecological
inventory with
attributes
But what is an ecosite phase and site type?
Natural Subregion
“…areas characterized by a
distinctive regional climate as
expressed by vegetation”
Edmonton’s Natural Subregion
Central Parkland
A mosaic of grassland with patches of forested land
dominated by trembling aspen
Natural Subregion
Edatopic Grid
“…areas characterized by a
distinctive regional climate as
expressed by vegetation”
Ecosite*
a
Units that share common soil
moisture & soil nutrient
characteristics
c
b
f
e
g
i
*Field guide to Ecosites of Alberta Series (Natural Resources Canada)
h
Natural Subregion
“…areas characterized by a
distinctive regional climate as
expressed by vegetation”
Ecosite*
a
Units that share common soil
moisture & soil nutrient
characteristics
c
b
Phase
Tallest vegetation layer having
greater then 5% cover.
An ecosite can have several different phases
depending on the occurring dominant vegetation.
Example: Ecosite-C (Mesic Moisture Regime and
Medium Nutrient Regime)
• Shrub dominated
• Aspen dominated
• Mixedwood (both aspen and white spruce)
• White spruce dominated
f
e
g
i
h
Site example of phase
The tool: PLVI+
• + = Customized to meet specific COE needs.
•
•
Higher resolution than traditional PLVI
• Standard PLVI: 300-400
polygons/township
• COE Inventory: 700-800
polygons/township
Site types found only in urban settings
PLVI+:
37 site types
SITE TYPE
LAND CLASS
Maintained Grass Site (MG)
Transplant Treed Site (TT)
Non-maintained Grass/Shrub Site (NG)
Annual Crops (CA) *
Tame Pasture (CP) *
Site types:
Modified
(MOD)
Rough Pasture (CPR) *
Treed Shelterbelt (TS) *
Recent Clearing (CL) *
Acreage Subdivision (AS)
Provides specific land use information
Farmyard/Acreage Site (FS)
Nursery/Tree Farm (NT) *
Agriculture Hygric Tillage Site (HT) *
Naturally
Wooded
(NAW)
Forested (FT) Species Group, Density Class,
Succession Stages, Leading Tree Species, Natural
Disturb ance *
Treed (WT) *
Wetland
(WET)
includes Stew art
and Kantrud
Classification
System
Shrub (WS) *
Treed (TF) *
Shrub (SF) *
Grass (GF) *
Marsh (M) *
Swamp (SW) *
Open Shrub (OS) *
Naturally
Non-Wooded
(NNW)
Medial Shrub (MS) *
Closed Shrub (CS) *
Native Grass (HG) *
Natural
(NAT)
Natural Water Bodies (NW)
Exposed Mineral Soil (EMS) **
Sand (NMS)
Anthropogenic Water Body (AW)
Established Residential Community (ERC)
Residential Development Site (RDS)
Established Commercial/Industrial Site (ECS)
Traditional PLVI:
26 site types
Developed
(DEV)
Commercial/Industrial Develop. Site (CDS)
Building and/or Parking Complex (BPC)
Aggregates and/or Fill Site (AF)
Oil and/or Gas Field Site (OG)
Maintained Trails (MT)
Site types
LABEL
#
AREA (ha)
1,463
5,050
87
894
Annual Crops
782
28,921
Tame Pasture
281
3,473
Rough Pasture
293
2,136
2,614
6,945
Treed Bog
-
-
Shrub Bog
8
6
Treed Fen
3
20
Shrubby Fen
116
289
Grass Fen
568
1,552
Marsh
698
1,431
Maintained Grass
Transplant Treed Site
Forested
The tool: PLVI+
• + = Customized to meet specific COE needs.
•
•
•
Higher resolution than traditional PLVI
• Standard PLVI: 300-400
polygons/township
• COE Inventory: 700-800
polygons/township
Site types found only in urban settings
Added Stuart and Kantrude wetland
classification
Wetlands
CLASS
NO. OF POLYGONS
AREA (ha)
N/A
11,615
110,961
I
48
336
II
504
1,118
III
379
545
IV
253
587
V
321
662
13,120
114,209
The tool: PLVI+
• + = Customized to meet specific COE needs.
•
•
•
•
•
Higher resolution than traditional PLVI
• Standard PLVI: 300-400
polygons/township
• COE Inventory: 700-800
polygons/township
Site types found only in urban settings
Added Stuart and Kantrude wetland
classification
Will be field calibrated and tested
Designed to be rolled up into
provincial database
FINAL PHASE-II PRODUCT
Natural Subregion
“…areas characterized by a
distinctive regional climate as
expressed by vegetation”
Ecosite*
Units that share common soil
moisture & soil nutrient
characteristics
Phase
Tallest vegetation layer having
greater then 5% cover.
PHASE-III PRODUCT
Describes dominant recurring understory vegetation,
mainly shrubs, herbs and mosses.
Plant community type will not be described in the
inventory as the understory vegetation is NOT visible
through the phase using aerial photography.
However, plant community type will be described with the
field data.
Plant community type
Understorey vegetation
characteristics
*Field guide to Ecosites of Alberta Series (Natural Resources Canada)
ACTED HONEYSUCKLE:DOGWOOD
mesic-subhygric / rich
A. Alberta ecosite field guide codes/labels and polygon summary by natural subregion (NSR):
AREA
(ha)
ECOSITE◊
•
•
NSR
DM
CM
LF
UF
MN
SA
Letter
e
e
f
f
d
Label
dogwood
dogwood
bracted honeysuckle
bracted honeysuckle
dogwood
Customized
The main Type
final reportFact Sheets?
Site
deliverable will be a set of
site-type fact sheets.
Fact sheets will be similar to
that found in Alberta’s field
guides but customized to
meet COE’s needs.
Mapcode(s)
5D
5D
5D
5D
5D
6,965
31,177
118,404
26,586
614
%
4
17
64
14
<1
TOTAL:
183,745
100
(Rank 1-47)
2
1
3
8
4
POLYGONS
No.
1,153
3,741
18,155
4,135
90
Mean Size (ha)
6.0
8.3
6.5
6.4
6.8
27,274
6.7
n/e
n/e : no ecosite
◊
TREE
PROD.
Field Guide to: Ecosites of Northern Alberta (Beckingham & Archibald, 1996) & Ecosites of West-central Alberta (Beckingham et al., 1996)
B. Mean vegetation percent cover (weighted by area) by NSR:
C. Secondary Composite Ecosites:
MapMapcode %*
code %*
None
2B
3B
3C
5B
5C
5C7C
6E
85
0
<1
<1
<1
12
<1
1
7B
7C
7D
9B
9C
9D
9E
<1
<1
<1
<1
0
0
0
*Percent of total area containing
secondary ecosites too small to
delineate.
D1. Dry Mixedwood –moraine. Sw
D2. Lower Foothills –moraine. Aw
Supporting the other goals
Secure
•
•
•
•
•
•
Inform land use decisions,
including new plan areas
Identify species-rich areas, and
vegetation community types that
are underrepresented in
Edmonton’s existing ecological
network (i.e. GAP analysis)
Inform identification of unique
vegetation and landforms
Inform a conservation
offsets/wetland mitigation
program; wetland identification
Identification of wildlife habitat,
including for endangered and
threatened species
Creation of a fuels map (for fire
risk program)
Engage
Manage
•
•
•
By understanding the
relationships between variation
in plant community distribution
and developmental patterns it
may be possible to more easily
predict the affects of habitat
manipulation or enhancement
efforts
Identification of areas for
restoration to improve
ecological linkages
Identify key areas for
restoration projects of rare
species
•
•
•
Provide information for
education and awareness
Master Naturalist Program
mobilization
Support citizen
science/monitoring programs
Acknowledgements
• Government of Alberta
– Mike Willoughby
– Sarah Green
– Ed Karpuk
• University of Alberta
– Charlene Nielsen
– Scott Nielsen
• City of Edmonton
– Alex Yeung,
Transportation Services
– Charlie Barton, Aileen
Xu, UPE
– SD Co-workers
• GreenLink

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