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McGregor, Stephen J. (1998). An Integrated Geographic Information System Approach for Modeling the Suitability of Conifer Habitat in an Alpine Environment. Geomorphology, 21(3-4), 265-280.


Alpine periglacial environments within the forest-alpine tundra ecotone (FATE) may be among the first to reflect changes in habitat characteristics as a consequence of climatic change. Previous FATE studies used Integrated Geographic Information System (IGIS) techniques to collect and model biophysical data but lacked the necessary detail to model the micro-scale patterns and compositions of habitat within alpine periglacial environments. This paper describes several promising data collection, integration, and cartographic modeling techniques used in an IGIS approach to model alpine periglacial environments in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, USA. High-resolution (I X I m) multi-spectral remote sensing data and differentially corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS) data were integrated with other biophysical data using a raster-based IGIS approach. Biophysical factors, hypothesized to influence the pattern and composition of the FATE and the alpine tundra ecosystem, were derived from the high-resolution remote sensing data, in-situ GPS data, high-resolution models of digital elevation, and other thematic data using image processing techniques and cartographic modeling. Suitability models of conifer habitat were created using indices generated from the IGIS database. This IGIS approach identified suitable conifer habitat within the FATE and permitted the modeling of micro-scale periglacial features and alpine tundra communities that are absent from traditional approaches of landscape-scale (30 X 30 m) modeling.


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McGregor, Stephen J.