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Title: Validation of the Greater Hunter Native Vegetation Mapping as it pertains to the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales
Contributor(s): Hunter, John Thomas  (author)
Publication Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1111/emr.12195
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Abstract: Reliable vegetation maps are an important component of any long-term landscape planning initiatives. A number of approaches are available but one, in particular, pattern recognition (segmentation) combined with modelling from floristic site data, is currently being used to map vegetation across NSW. An independent assessment of this approach based on a review of the Greater Hunter Native Vegetation Mapping (GHM_v4) was undertaken in order to assess its ability to cater for regional, local, strategic and landscape planning. The validation process tested 2151 locations across the Upper Hunter Valley region of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The results suggest that mapping at the coarsest level of NSW vegetation classification, the Formation, is generally poor, with only Dry Sclerophyll Forest and Woodland modelled with some level of reliability. The modelled mapping of individual plant community types (PCTs) was found to be highly inaccurate with only 17% of validation points attributed as 'correct' and a further 13% 'essentially correct'. Therefore, a majority of PCTs were mapped with an accuracy of less than 30%. The results of this validation suggest that the GHM_v4 is of such a low level of accuracy within the upper Hunter as to be inherently unusable for broad-scale regional and local landscape planning or environmental assessment, including locating compensatory offsets for the loss of native vegetation due to developments. The GHM_v4 methods of pattern recognition of mainly SPOT5 satellite imagery combined with modelling from plot data have not produced reliable vegetation maps of plant community types. Yet this mapping programme is extending across NSW and could be misused for environmental decisions or as a regulation.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Ecological Management & Restoration, 17(1), p. 40-46
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1839-3330
Field of Research (FOR): 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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