Topography affects grassland heterogeneity
Determining and monitoring ecosystem heterogeneity and biodiversity is important for grassland management and can be carried out through remote sensing such as satellite images. However, in rolling landscapes, biophysical properties of ecosystems, the indicators of heterogeneity and biodiversity are highly scale and location dependent and little research is reported on how topography affects biophysical properties of ecosystems quantitatively. The objective of this study is to examine how topography affects spatial biophysical variation using statistics and a wavelet approach in the mixed grassland ecosystem, Saskatchewan, Canada. Field leaf area index (LAI) was collected with an LAI-2000 instrument and topographical data were measured using a total station along five paralleled transects. Results showed that biophysical spatial variation is highly topography-controlled, and the wavelet approaches can be used to identify the spatial heterogeneity of a grassland ecosystem at different scales. This study suggests the potentials of using readily-available topography data to guide the ecosystems management and selection of the resolution of satellite images.
leaf area index (LAI)
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