Forest Ecosystem Analysis Using a GIS
Forest ecosystem studies have expanded spatially in recent years to address large scale environmental issues. We are using a geographic information system (GIS) to understand and integrate forest processes at landscape to regional spatial scales. This paper presents three diverse research studies using a GIS. First, we used a GIS to develop a landscape scale model to predict forest soil erosion rates given alternative forest management practices and weather conditions. Second, a GIS was used to evaluate the cumulative impacts of land use practices on water quality for a 4350 ha basin. Third, we used a GIS to store and manipulate complex data bases for modeling the influence of climate change on forest hydrology and productivity across the southern U.S. We anticipate the demand for GIS techniques will greatly increase because of the need to address increasingly complex ecosystem questions.