This page contains a link to the Designing Sustainable Landscape (DSL) project documentation, including a general overview and detailed technical documentation.
- Project overview -- This document is intended to serve as a general description of the project, including an overview of our approach to meeting the goals and objectives. This working document is directed to our Scientific Steering Committee, but should be useful to anyone interested in learning more about this project. This document is something of an executive summary of the project in its current state and makes reference to other detailed documents (below) that provide the technical details of the modeling approach. It is highly recommended that you read this document before attempting to read any of the other documents, as this document provides the overall framework of the project and establishes the context for the more specific technical documents.
- Glossary of key terms/concepts -- This document provides a glossary of key terms and concepts as used in the DSL project and is intended to facilitate communication and understanding among users.
The following documents provide a complete technical description of the Landscape Change, Assessment and Design (LCAD) model. Importantly, all of these documents are working documents and therefore subject to frequent change:
- Ecological systems --This document provides a summary of our use of ecological systems as an organizational framework for portions of the model. Here, we briefly introduce the concept of ecological systems and the challenges of using them as an organizational framework, and then briefly outline four alternatives (that we considered) for their use in the model, including a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the final adopted alternative.
- Spatial data -- This document provides a brief overview of the spatial data used in the model, including the source of the data and a description of the processing steps.
- Disturbance-succession -- This document describes how we are modeling vegetation disturbance and succession, and includes a detailed description of the methods and the alternatives considered.
- Climate -- This document describes how we are modeling climate change. More specifically, this document describes the source of the climate change data that we are using and the methods we are applying to downscale the data to meet our needs.
- Urban growth -- This document describes how we are modeling urban growth. However, as the urban growth model is still under development, here we provide only a brief overview of our modeling approach. A more detailed description of the model will follow soon.
- Integrity -- This document describes our coarse-fine filter assessment based on the concept of landscape ecological integrity. Here, we define ecological integrity and the five major components of integrity that we quantify: intactness, resiliency, adaptive capacity, diversity and connectivity, and describe the various indices used to quantify each component. [updated 5/5/2014]
- Species -- This document describes our species-based assessment based on the concept of climate and habitat capability for a suite of representative species. Here, we define climate and habitat capability and the methods used to measure each component for each species. In addition, here we link to detailed documentation of the climate-habitat capability model developed for each representative species. [updated 6/17/2014]
- Landscape design -- This document describes our preliminary ideas for the landscape design component of the LCAD model, but is intended solely as a springboard for discussion of ways to use the results of the landscape change and assessment to inform conservation action in the realms of land protection, land management and ecological restoration.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655