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Designing Sustainable Landscapes



This page contains a link to all distributed data products of the Designing Sustainable Landscape (DSL) project, including a complete set of phase 1 results for the three pilot watersheds, an incomplete set of phase 2 results for the entire Northeast Region, and results of the Connecticut River watershed landscape conservation dsign pilot. Note, phase 2 regional results are incomplete because the work is ongoing; products will be posted incrementally as they are generated over the course of the project.

Connecticut River watershed landscape conservation design pilot:

The links below include the complete data "package" for the Connecticut River watershed landscape conservation design pilot (ctrLcd) and the associated documentation.

Phase 2 Results:

The links below include data products from phase 2 of this project for the entire Northeast region. Note, data products will be posted as they are generated, but detailed written reports that describe and summarize these data products will not be available until the end of phase 2. Regardless, a thorough understanding of these data products will require referencing the detailed technical documents.

The spatial data products are organized into logical groups, as described in the technical document on spatial data, including:

  1. Ecological settings grids
  2. Ecological integrity grids
  3. Focal species grids
  4. Landscape conservation design grids
  5. Ancillary grids

IMPORTANT: These spatial data products are all distributed as GeoTIFFs. Metadata describing these data products are not distributed with the grids; please see the technical document on spatial data and the accompanying tables for detailed information on each data product. However, a couple of the products including the species current landscape capability grid (speciesLC) and the DSLland grid come with an abstract that provides a brief description of the data layer. Those products listed with links are currently available; those without links are under development.

In addition, to efficiently display the grids in ArcMap at the full regional extent, building pyramids is necessary. In ArcMap, use the Data Management > Raster > Raster Properties > Build Pyramids tool and set the pyramid resampling technique in the Raster Storage environment setting to the ‘nearest’ option to display the data properly. Answering ‘yes’ in the build pyramids dialog box that appears on import will implement bilinear resampling and display will be incorrect.

Ecological settings grids

Current (2010):


Ecological integrity grids

Current (2010):

Index of ecological integrity (IEI) grids scaled by ecosytem (i.e., "habitat" in the TNC classification), as depicted in the DSLland grid (attributed to display either ecosytems or formations), and by various geographic extents (Northeast region, ecoregions, states and HUC6 watersheds):


Focal species grids

Current (2010): The zip file for each species contains the Landscape Capability grid (speciesLC) and Climate Niche grid (speciesCN) for 2010, along with an abstract (pdf document) on the species LC model.

*Sensitive information, contact the NALCC to potentially aquire this data.

2080: The zip file for each species currently includes the following layers: Climate Niche grid (speciesCNavg2080), Climate Response grid (speciesCR2080) and Climate Zones shapefile (speciesCZ2080). Eventually, we will add the Landscape Capability grid (speciesLC2080) and Habitat Response grid (speciesHR2080) as described in the species documentation. Note, all grids involving future climate are averaged across two climate change scenarios: RCP 4.5 and 8.5.

*Sensitive information, contact the NALCC to potentially aquire this data.

Landscape conservation design grids

Ancillary grids


Phase 1 Products:

The links below include data products from phase 1 of this project, including a report on the preliminary (phase 1) results for each of the three pilot watershed and links to accompanying data files, as explained in the reports, in addition to a report on the preliminary comparison of the coarse and fine filters. Note, the reports for the pilot watersheds are identical in template and make reference to the detailed technical documents for additional information on the LCAD methods:

  • Coarse-filter representative species comparison -- This report documents our preliminary findings (based on phase 1 work involving 10 representative species) on the comparison of the coarse filter (ecological integrity) assessment and the representative species' habitat capability assessment and is illustrated using the results from the middle Connecticut River watershed pilot study.

  • Pilot study area results -- See below for links to reports and data products for the pilot study areas.
    • Click here for Release Notes describing the known "bugs" in the phase 1 results. [Updated 10/26/2012]
    • The output grids accidentally got stripped of their .prj files during processing. As an interim solution, to set the projection in ArcMap, follow these steps:
      1. Data Management Tools > Projections and Transformations > Define Projection
      2. In the Define Projection dialog box, click the coordinate system icon
      3. Click the Select button
      4. Navigate to: Projected Coordinate Systems / Continental / North America / USA Contiguous Albers Equal Area Conic USGS.prj
      5. Click the Add button

Kennebec River watershed:

Pocomoke and Nanticoke Rivers watershed:

Middle Connecticut River watershed:

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

Copyright 2000 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003. (413) 545-0111. This is an official page of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. All material in this website is made available according to the Fair Use Statute of the U.S. Copyright Act