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Physical Geography, 2003, 24, 6, pp. 488501. Copyright 2003 by V. H. Winston & Son, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Summary: 488
Physical Geography, 2003, 24, 6, pp. 488501.
Copyright 2003 by V. H. Winston & Son, Inc. All rights reserved.
QUANTIFYING ECOSYSTEM GEOMORPHOLOGY OF THE SOUTHERN
APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS
Scott R. Abella
Ecological Restoration Institute
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5017
Abstract: Geomorphology is a dominant factor influencing vegetation distribution in
the southern Appalachians, and quantifying landform characteristics is increasingly
important for forest ecosystem classification. This study used slope gradient and two pre-
viously published geomorphic indices, terrain shape index and landform index that quan-
tify landform shape and protection, to develop a field-based landform quantification
system at four study areas in the southern Appalachians. Six major landform types (ridge-
tops, nose slopes, linear hillslopes, coves, stream ravines, and stream bottoms) exhibited
quantitatively different characteristics, and these differences among landforms were not
evident when using only categorical landform descriptions (e.g., convex, concave) that
have been most common in southern Appalachian ecological research. Discriminant
function resubstitution based on quantitative geomorphic variables distinguished 78% or

  

Source: Abella, Scott R. - School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology