Description / Table of Contents:
A new map of standardized, mesoscale (tens to thousands of hectares) terrestrial ecosystems for the conterminous United States was developed by using a biophysical stratification approach. The ecosystems delineated in this top-down, deductive modeling effort are described in NatureServe's classification of terrestrial ecological systems of the United States. The ecosystems were mapped as physically distinct areas and were associated with known distributions of vegetation assemblages by using a standardized methodology first developed for South America. This approach follows the geoecosystems concept of R.J. Huggett and the ecosystem geography approach of R.G. Bailey.Unique physical environments were delineated through a geospatial combination of national data layers for biogeography, bioclimate, surficial materials lithology, land surface forms, and topographic moisture potential. Combining these layers resulted in a comprehensive biophysical stratification of the conterminous United States, which produced 13,482 unique biophysical areas. These were considered as fundamental units of ecosystem structure and were aggregated into 419 potential terrestrial ecosystems.
Type of Medium:
Series available for loan
IV, 17 S.
U.S. Geological Survey professional paper 1768
Lower compact magazine