Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Carl Seielstad

Commitee Members

Anna Klene, LLoyd Queen


digital mylar, juniper encroachment, spatial wavelets


University of Montana


Across much of their diverse natural range in the Western US, species of the genus juniperus are expanding onto open grass and shrublands and infilling open woodland areas. In Southern Arizona’s Clifton Ranger District, landscape-scale restoration treatments have been used to stall this expansion and reduce canopy-cover. This study utilizes and compares two techniques – dot- grid sampling and spatial wavelet analysis (SWA) – to estimate the efficacy of these treatments by measuring canopy-cover change pre-and post-treatment. Further, using the SWA dataset, the study explores the potential of SWA for landscape-scale ecological attribute estimation. This study found that restoration treatments significantly reduced canopy-cover with 18% and 42% mean reductions (p < 0.001), depending on treatment. The ability of SWA to estimate canopy- cover, and crown diameter was good in open canopy-cover (EF values up to 0.587 for canopy- cover estimation and 0.558 for crown diameter estimation), but diminished as canopy-cover increased, and systematically under-estimated as canopy-cover and crown diameter increased. Further, SWA showed that the potential for legacy tree and juniper expansion mapping was promising (68 to 79% of legacy trees correctly identified). Huge quantities of data and high technical complexity make SWA unsuitable for widespread adoption without addition of user- friendly interface, but the quantity and quality of data suggests a vast utility in future forest and rangeland research and management.



© Copyright 2011 Erik James Apland