The Landscape Change Research Group specializes in creating ecological assessments using large amounts of biological, climatic, and terrain data with statistical models and geographic information systems (GIS).
The scientists of the Landscape Change Research Group (LCRG) create original research as well as valuable tools and data sets for resource managers and decision makers. The integration of the LCRG into the NIACS team allows for more information to be made available to land managers, provides valuable feedback from users about LCRG products, and enhances work to support forest adaptation and inspire new research. The LCRG also takes advantage of local opportunities, working directly with scientists and managers to inform land management decisions in Ohio.
"The ecomapping work from LCRG has saved multiple weeks of resource professional time in preparing for management activities within the Wayne National Forest."
- Tony Scardina, Forest Supervisor, Wayne National Forest
A tremendous amount of new information was produced in 2019, including 8 journal articles, 2 GTRs, 3 GTR chapters, 2 StoryMaps, and 17 scientific presentations. The Climate Change Atlas remains a primary way to make modeling data available to a large audience, with more than 750,000 page views this fiscal year. Updates to the Bird section of the Climate Change Atlas were published in early 2019.
The team updated their core modeling effort, using the DISTRIB-II and SHIFT models on 125 tree species in the eastern US to produce a wide array of tabular data and maps projecting species responses to future conditions. These data are also summarized for national forests and parks, watersheds, and ecoregions.
The LCRG worked with the Ohio Interagency Forestry Team and Wayne National Forest (WNF) on promoting oak-dominated forests in the 17-county project area of a USDA Joint Chiefs’ Restoration Partnership. Major products include landtype maps, a general technical report on the status and trends of the region, support of the WNF plan revision, and implementation of the Ohio Interagency Forestry Team Five-Year Business Plan.
The LCRG is working with Jim Lootens-White (NRS webmaster) to incorporate the most recent modeling results into a new version of the Climate Change Atlas website, making them available globally. And that’s just the beginning! The LCRG will continue to publish new research papers, update the Bird Atlas, explore drought vulnerabilities, and continue coordination with Canadian researchers, heading toward better cross-boundary modeling.