LandWeb Simulation Modelling
A research project and tool that uses spatial simulation modelling to generate the historical range of landscape conditions across western boreal Canada.
This is by far the most ambitious Healthy Landscapes project. The objective of LandWeb is to define historical NRV conditions at landscape scales across 140 million ha of the western boreal from spatially explicit simulation modelling. The output will provide NRV for landscape scale metrics such as seral-stage levels and old forest patch sizes.
One of the first research projects undertaken by the Healthy Landscapes Program remains today as one of the more complex. Originally, our partners were interested in fundamental questions such as the sizes of natural disturbances and historic levels and sizes of old forest. These seemingly simple questions required several layers of research to address.
Natural landscape mosaics that we see today (or 50 or 100 years ago) are the result of hundreds of years of wildfires interacting with soil, topography, climate, and tree species dynamics over time and space. Old forest is created over many decades, and thus we can only explain their patterns when we understand the causes. Unfortunately, we do not have detailed knowledge of natural landscapes from decades or centuries ago.
However, spatial modelling can create such data if we have three things:
- reliable inputs,
- the right model,
- sound local knowledge of key disturbance elements such as fire sizes, fire severity, and species mortality rates.
In 2014, the Healthy Landscapes Program formed a partnership with the Canadian Forest Service at the Pacific Forestry Centre to develop the model. The framework in which LandWeb will be developed is called SpaDES (Spatially Discreet Event Simulator). SpaDES is actually not a model, but rather an innovative framework in which other models and modules can “talk” to each other. SpaDES is free, available on-line, and customized for each HLP partner with the LandWeb configuration.
The following reports describe the process of developing these project elements:
McIntire and Chubaty begin work on the LandWeb suite of models
LandWeb and SpaDES, the platform it runs on, is demonstrated for partners
Simple, easy to use, cloud-based access point for users is created
Understanding Historical Old Forest Patch Size Patterns on the Edson Forest Products FMA Area in Alberta
Understanding Historical Old Forest Patch Size Patterns on the Hinton Wood Products FMA Area in Alberta
Understanding Historical Landscape Patterns on the Blue Ridge Lumber West Fraser FMA Area in Alberta
Understanding Historical Landscape Patterns on the Tolko-West Fraser High Prairie FMA Area in Alberta
- Bandaloop Landscape-Ecosystem Services