TESTING THE UTILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CLUSTER ANALYSIS BASED UPON BIODIVERSITY SURROGATES WITHIN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR CONSERVATION PLANNING: A CASE STUDY OF INLAND TEMPERATE RAINFOREST IN THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department or School/College
Department of Geography
Anna Klene, Natalie Dawson
inland, temperate, rainforest, biodiversity, surrogates, environmental, cluster, analysis
University of Montana
Environmental surrogates have been proposed as a method for addressing a lack of taxonomic data in biodiversity conservation planning. These surrogates, used as variables in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis, can be used in classification procedures to classify areas that are hypothesized to support or be able to support a targeted species or community. The peripheral range of the inland temperate rainforest’s (ITRF) in northwest Montana and northern Idaho was used as a case study for testing the utility of a method known as Environmental Cluster Analysis (ECA) within a GIS using abiotic environmental variables encompassing broad environmental attributes to classify this forest type. The objective was to test if this statistical clustering classification identified sites that contained or could accommodate this forest type and thus contribute to biodiversity planning in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Results indicate that the generalizing nature of ECA is not suitable for meeting the objectives of many conventional biodiversity goals when emphasis is placed on the limited distribution species or communities. The results from this research support the conclusion that ECA is not adequate for formulating a strategy for developing and implementing ITRF conservation planning.
Heimel, Matthew J., "TESTING THE UTILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CLUSTER ANALYSIS BASED UPON BIODIVERSITY SURROGATES WITHIN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR CONSERVATION PLANNING: A CASE STUDY OF INLAND TEMPERATE RAINFOREST IN THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAINS" (2014). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 4360.
© Copyright 2014 Matthew J. Heimel