Kansas GAP Land Cover Mapping
Gap Analysis identifies gaps in the representation of biological diversity (biodiversity) in areas managed exclusively or primarily for the long term maintenance of populations of native species and natural ecosystems. Once identified, gaps are filled through new reserve acquisitions or designations, or through changes in management practices. The goal is to ensure that all ecosystems and areas rich in species diversity are represented adequately in biodiversity management areas. Gap Analysis uses vegetation types and vertebrate and butterfly species (and/or other taxa, such as vascular plants, if adequate distributional data are available) as indicators of biodiversity. Maps of existing vegetation are prepared from satellite imagery (LANDSAT) and other sources and entered into a geographic information system (GIS). The Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) Program at the University of Kansas is responsible for generation of the alliance level vegetation map for Kansas GAP (Gap Analysis Program). A multi-temporal approach, utilizing data from spring, summer, and fall, is being implemented. This type of vegetation classification exploits the phenological differences between alliance types through the growing season.