Fire Ecology, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 2
Comparing Locally Derived and LANDFIRE Geo-Layers in the Great Basin, USA
Authors: Louis Provencher, Kori Blankenship, Jim Smith, Jeff Campbell, and Mike Polly
Locally derived maps of pre-European settlement vegetation patterns (Biophysical Setting-BpS) and Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) were compared to concomitant products from LANDFIRE for the Wassuk Range in western Nevada, USA. While Biophysical Settings between the two sources matched approximately half of the time, only 2.5 % of the area matched both FRCC and BpS simultaneously. The poor FRCC performance is largely due to undetected and extensive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) cover, overestimation of perennial native grass in extensive shrublands, and mapping confusion between true pinyon-juniper woodlands and areas where trees have encroached into native shrublands. LANDFIRE National products should be useful to resource-limited managers where sufficient training plots were available to the project, but we include practical guidance for using LANDFIRE spatial products in areas where the LANDFIRE project had insufficient ground plot information.