Changes in spatial patterns of land cover both within and adjacent to National Parks can greatly affect biological and physical processes within those parks. Specifically, landscape patterns related to disturbance, fragmentation, buffers, and land cover change have been shown to affect the abundance of rare and endangered species, levels of biodiversity, potential for invasion by exotic plants, habitat for birds, amphibians and other animals, water quality, and in-stream habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms.


Aerial photography and satellite imagery gathered by both federal agencies and private organizations can complement NCRN monitoring data by providing a greater context for data gathered at specific points on the ground. It also facilitates extrapolation of point measurements across landscapes and provides greater understanding of the ecological role of the parks in a regional context. Using remote sensing can help identify areas undergoing rapid changes in land use, roads, population, housing, and impervious surface (paved areas, development, roads), at a park scale, watershed scale, or even larger.

The set of landscape tools available through the NPS Landscape Dynamics Viewer allows users to display and print data layers on forest cover, housing, land cover, etc., and provides links to GIS data and associated metadata.


Measurable objectives for remote sensing and landscape pattern (RSLP) protocols may vary depending on the other monitored resources with which RSLP outputs will be integrated. For example, the needs in an analysis of land cover patterns for examining stream water quality may differ substantially from the needs for an analysis of wildlife habitat.


Landscape Documents

Source: Data Store Saved Search 2602. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Important Landscape Dynamics Links

Inventory & Monitoring Division Landscape Dynamics page

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    Tags: ncrn landscape

    Last updated: September 4, 2020