Spatio-temporal vegetation change of Jackson Glacier Forefront, Glacier National Park, MT

Authors: Callie Lambert*, Virginia Tech, Lynn M Resler, Virginia Tech, Yang Shao, Virginia Tech
Topics: Physical Geography, Mountain Environments, Remote Sensing
Keywords: physical geography, mountain geography, remote sensing
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The global trend of glacier retreat is considered a clear sign of global climate change. Though work has been conducted worldwide to document the change in glaciers in response to climate change, comparatively little research has assessed associated vegetation change over time and patterns of plant colonization at glacier forefronts. The research objectives are to 1) quantify the spatial and temporal patterns of landcover change of five classes—ice, rock, tree, shrub, and herbaceous at the Jackson Glacier forefront in Glacier National Park ,and 2) determine the role of selected biophysical factors on primary succession pathways at the deglaciated area. Landsat imagery of the study locations in 1991 and 2015 were classified and validated using ground truth points and assessed for accuracy. Overall accuracy for the 1991 image is 87.5% and the 2015 image is 82.5%. To identify biophysical correlates of change, we used a logistic regression model with a binary dependent variable, non-vegetation changed to vegetation class (code=1) or stable non-vegetation class (code=0). Results revealed that aspect, elevation, and solar radiation are statistically significant in explaining the vegetation change or no change. New case studies on vegetation change in recently deglaciated regions can deepen our knowledge about how glacier retreat at the local scales results in vegetation change and recharged ecosystem dynamics, and feedback to climate and biodiversity processes. This research will be viewed through an interdisciplinary, holistic perspective of biogeomorphology, which acknowledges the interaction between vegetation and landforms.

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