Knowing The Territory: Landscape Ecosystem Classification and Mapping

TitleKnowing The Territory: Landscape Ecosystem Classification and Mapping
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsAlbert DA, Lapin M, Pearsall DR
JournalThe Michigan Botanist

Burton V. Barnes was a pioneer of ecological land classification in North America. Since he first introduced integrated, multi-scale, multifactor landscape ecosystem theory and methodology at the University of Michigan in the early 1980s (e.g., Barnes et al. 1982), ecological classification and mapping has become widely accepted as a “best practice” in ecosystem and biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource management. Numerous other systems have been developed and are in use (e.g., state natural community classifications), but the methodology that Burt honed and taught likely remains the one that is most true to nature in describing and documenting the hierarchically nested, volumetric ecosystems of specific locales and regions. In the Barnes method, each classification is discerned from the ground up, based on the combination of climate, landform, geology, soils, and hydrology.