Developing Dynamic Reference Models and a Decision Support Framework for Southeastern Ecosystems: An Integrated Approach
Final rept. 26 Mar 2009 23 Jun 2015
JOSEPH W JONES ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER NEWTON GA
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At Eglin Air Force Base AFB, the refinement of reference models for longleaf pine Pinus palustris sandhills was undertaken to incorporate the temporal variation of ecosystems caused by disturbance and succession, as well as seasonal, interannual, or decadal variability. The research component involved resampling vegetation, fauna and soils in restoration and reference plots established by the Nature Conservancy in 1993. Next, two decision-support tools were expanded as a framework for assessing ecosystem status and trends for the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis RCW and the longleaf pine sandhill ecosystems on which this species depends. Specifically, vegetation field data was used to parameterize a dynamic modeling tool to generate predictive habitat maps. The maps were then used as landscape layers in an RCW population model to show how landscape change could affect RCW populations over a 50 year time frame. Lastly, a Decision Support Framework was completed to display real-time analytical results for monitoring data that were developed in the field portion of this study.