This study identifies areas with ecosystem performance anomalies (EPA) within the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) during 2005–2007 using satellite observations, climate data, and ecosystem models. The final EPA maps with 250-m spatial resolution were categorized as normal performance, underperformance, and overperformance (observed performance relative to weather-based predictions) at the 90% level of confidence. The EPA maps were validated using “percentage of bare soil” ground observations. The validation results at locations with comparable site potential showed that regions identified as persistently underperforming (overperforming) tended to have a higher (lower) percentage of bare soil, suggesting that our preliminary EPA maps are reliable and agree with ground-based observations. The 3-year (2005–2007) persistent EPA map from this study provides the first quantitative evaluation of ecosystem performance anomalies within the UCRB and will help the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) identify potentially degraded lands. Results from this study can be used as a prototype by BLM and other land managers for making optimal land management decisions.
Additional publication details
Detecting Ecosystem Performance Anomalies for Land Management in the Upper Colorado River Basin Using Satellite Observations, Climate Data, and Ecosystem Models
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center