Designing Sustainable Landscapes: Biomass settings variable


Download Data

Download Data (678.7 MB)

Download Biomass settings variable (173 KB)

Publication Date



Environmental Sciences | Sustainability


Vegetation biomass is an effective descriptor of the net primary productivity of an ecosystem. As such, it is a fundamental component of the ecosystem's trophic dynamics. In addition, vegetation biomass is an effective proxy for the successional development (or seral stage) of vegetation following a disturbance. Biomass is one of several ecological settings variables that collectively characterize the biophysical setting of each 30 m cell at a given point in time (McGarigal et al 2017). Specifically, biomass measures the estimated above-ground live biomass (Mg/ha) of undeveloped forested (including forested wetlands) cells in 2010 based primarily on a spectral analysis of Landsat imagery by USGS Woods Hole. Note that for forested ecosystems, we also model the predicted change in biomass between 2010-2080 using on a custom succession model trained using Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plot data (see technical document on disturbance and succession, McGarigal et al 2017).


Designing Sustainable Landscapes: Biomass settings variable