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Workshops Introduce New Way to Evaluate Changes to Benefits of Nature

The Appalachian LCC and the U.S. Forest Service held its initial workshops introducing a new way of evaluating ecosystem change and resilience via the Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT).
Workshops Introduce New Way to Evaluate Changes to Benefits of Nature

LanDAT can help users monitor landscapes through more than 15 years of satellite observations; USFS

LanDAT is one of the final research products generated as a result of a three-year collaboration between the Appalachian LCC, the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center.

Held May 16 and June 21 in Asheville, NC, the workshops presented case studies demonstrating how LanDAT can be applied to understand the impacts of changing forest growth and land use patterns on forest carbon storage, and to measure the severity of hemlock tree loss relative to other kinds of landscape change in the region. The workshops included in-depth discussion and exploration of the LanDAT website, data products, and map viewer and provided workshop participants an opportunity to evaluate the tool’s potential for use in additional landscape assessment and monitoring scenarios, as well as its design and functionality.

"As conservation practitioners strive to restore and maintain landscapes and the ecological services and benefits they provide, judging success or even progress requires objective, quantifiable, and rigorous means of defining and measuring landscape resilience through time,” says Lars Pomara, an ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and one of LanDAT’s key developers. “LanDAT can help these users characterize changing landscapes across multiple scales and measure the influence of management activities on resilience and adaptive capacity."

Natural resource managers, planners, and spatial data analysts can use LanDAT to integrate assessments of landscape change and ecosystem services in their efforts locally and regionally to guide landscape planning and management decisions.

Two more workshops will be held this year in the northern and western subregions of the Appalachian LCC.

  • Northern subregion Workshop scheduled for July 26 at NCTC in Shepherdstown, West Virginia
  • Western subregion Workshop scheduled for September 13 at Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area in Golden Pond, Kentucky

 

In addition, a webinar providing a general overview of LanDAT will be presented to the Appalachian LCC community on Friday, August 4 at 9:30am Eastern. If interested in attending a future workshop or have additional questions, contact Lars Pomara, lazarusypomara@fs.fed.us.

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