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New Fact Sheet Details Component Shrubland Products and Their Value

Word of important remote-sensing science applications being developed and turned into useful products continues to roll out of EROS.

Screenshot of USGS Shrub/Grass Products publication

The latest is a fact sheet detailing component shrubland products created by the USGS Shrub/Grass Mapping Project as a collaborative venture among Collin Homer and his EROS colleagues, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium.

Nine individual map products (components) have been developed that quantify the percent of shrub, sagebrush, big sagebrush, herbaceous, annual herbaceous, litter, bare ground, shrub height, and sagebrush height at 1-percent intervals in each 30-meter grid cell. These component products are designed to be combined and customized to widely support different applications in rangeland monitoring, analysis of wildlife habitat, resource inventory, adaptive management, and environmental review.

Component shrubland products offer land managers and scientists an entirely new way to approach landscape management and monitoring. These new products fractionally characterize current and historical vegetation cover across broad landscapes and monitor changes among shrubs and grasses. Understanding how shrublands are distributed, where they are changing, the extent of the historical change, and likely future change directions are critical for successful management of shrubland ecosystems.

These new data products also will help land managers think beyond the one-parcel, one-decision approach by simultaneously providing access to a new and more complete understanding of ecosystem-scale components, while still retaining most of the local patch detail essential for applying day-to-day management decisions.

Homer says work is in progress to compare historical component change observations to climate data, wildfire occurrences, historical grazing records, and other management data to analyze the cause of changes, and attempt to project where and when similar changes may occur in the future.

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