Oak Openings Biodiversity Model (Phase I & II)

Phase I: Land Cover Map

Growing anthropogenic pressures continue to intensity and affect natural and semi-natural ecosystems which drives the need to quantify land-use and land cover changes. These abrupt environmental changes occur at different scales (local, regional, and global) and have been increasing over time as a result of both natural and anthropogenic processes. The Oak Openings Region contains remnant natural habitat patches in a matrix of human-modified habitat types where there is a need to actively manage threats such as invasive species, fire suppression, water diversion, and human disturbance. Schetter & Root (2011) created a foundational land cover map for this region which was used to identify remnant natural communities and prioritize areas for acquisition, restoration and management. Over 10 years later, Martin & Root (2020) updated this land cover map, extending from northwestern Ohio to southeastern Michigan. 


Fig 1.tif

Phase II: Habitat Suitability Models

Building on this land cover map, habitat models were developed for 15 indicator species, see some examples in Table, that are primarily associated with 5 critical ecosystems to guide conservation and management planning. These models map ecologically functional habitat and identifies priority areas on the landscape to facilitate connectivity. 

 Amanda K. Martin, PhD in Biological Sciences