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Title: EnviroAtlas - Biodiversity Metrics by 12-digit HUC for the Southeastern United States
Abstract: This EnviroAtlas dataset was produced by a joint effort of New Mexico State University, US EPA, and the US Geological Survey (USGS) to support research and online mapping activities related to EnviroAtlas. Ecosystem services, i.e., services provided to humans from ecological systems, have become a key issue of this century in resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis. Mapping and quantifying ecosystem services have become strategic national interests for integrating ecology with economics to help understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on both ecosystem function and human well-being. Some aspects of biodiversity are valued by humans in varied ways, and thus are important to include in any assessment that seeks to identify and quantify the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., abundance and diversity of harvestable species), whereas others may reflect indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., relevance of species diversity to ecosystem resilience, or cultural and aesthetic values). Wildlife habitat has been modeled at broad spatial scales and can be used to map a number of biodiversity metrics. We map 14 biodiversity metrics reflecting ecosystem services or other aspects of biodiversity for all vertebrate species except fish. Metrics include species richness for all vertebrates, specific taxon groups, harvestable species (i.e., waterfowl, furbearers, small game, and big game), threatened and endangered species, and state-designated species of greatest conservation need, as well as a metric for ecosystem (i.e., land cover) diversity. The EnviroAtlas (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas) allows the user to interact with a web-based, easy-to-use, mapping application to view and analyze multiple ecosystem services for the contiguous United States. The dataset is available as downloadable data (https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/EnviroAtlas) or as an EnviroAtlas map service. Additional descriptive information about each attribute in this dataset can be found in its associated EnviroAtlas Fact Sheet (https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas/enviroatlas-fact-sheets).
Purpose: The biodiversity metrics were created from grouping 606 single species habitat models created by the USGS Gap Analysis Program into smaller, ecologically-based, phylogeny-based, or stakeholder-suggested composites. This data could be used in conjunction with other biodiversity data or ecosystem service data to identify concordance and discordance between metrics. Areas of concordance highlight the similarity between the two metrics. Areas of discordance highlight dissimilar areas, but must then be reviewed to understand why the dissimilarity occurs. The overall goal of EnviroAtlas is to employ and develop the best available science to map indicators of ecosystem services production, demand, and drivers for the nation. METRIC DESCRIPTION Land Cover Diversity: Number of land cover types within a 1-km neighborhood by pixel. Land cover diversity can be an indicator of the diversity of ecosystems present within a given area. High numbers can indicate a system with a mosaic of differing ecosystems, which can indicate a biologically diverse area that has important bearing on biodiversity conservation. Areas with a high number of land cover types can be important attributes relative to recreational use or aesthetic values. Total Vertebrate Species Richness: Number of terrestrial vertebrate species (i.e., amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles) as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. Total Vertebrate Species Richness can be used to characterize an area of interest. Total Vertebrate Species Richness can be indicative of recreational opportunities or aesthetic qualities. Vertebrate species such as big game and birds are often mentioned in tourist brochures to highlight the recreational opportunities available within an area. Total Vertebrate Species Richness has been used as an indicator of the biodiversity conservation potential of an area and considered an important indicator of biodiversity 'hot spots.' This metric is important to ecological service categories related to biodiversity conservation and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. Bat Species Richness: Number of bat species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. Bat Species Richness provides an important metric to characterize an area of interest. Bats are known to provide valuable pest control and pollination services. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to biodiversity conservation and food, fuel, and materials. Amphibian Species Richness: Number of amphibian species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. Amphibian Species Richness provides a characterization of the area of interest. In the last 20 years, amphibian declines have become a national focus. The reasons are varied, but amphibians can act as important sentinels for water quality and can highlight the negative effects of pollution and pesticides in our streams and rivers. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to biodiversity conservation and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. Mammal Species Richness: Number of mammal species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. Mammal Species Richness provides a characterization of the area of interest. Mammals include many large, charismatic species such as Elk and Deer, but also provide some of the main prey items for carnivorous wildlife. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to biodiversity conservation and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. Total Harvestable Species Richness: Total Harvestable Species Richness identifies the number of harvestable terrestrial vertebrate species (defined by state hunting regulations), as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to food, fuel and materials and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. These species are regulated by state wildlife agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Harvestable species are an important source of food and revenue in many states. Wildlife agencies in many states rely on proceeds from hunting licenses to fund conservation activities within the state. Hunting also provides a significant source of recreation along with supplying food. Small Game Species Richness: Small Game Species Richness identifies the number of small game species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to food, fuel and materials and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. Examples include sandhill crane, scaled quail and dusky grouse. These species are regulated by state wildlife agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Big Game Species Richness: Big Game Species Richness identifies the number of big game species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to food, fuel and materials and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. These species are regulated by state wildlife agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. These species also represent watchable wildlife. Species include elk, mule deer, and pronghorn. Furbearer Species Richness: Furbearer Species Richness identifies the number of furbearer species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to food, fuel and materials and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. These species are regulated by state wildlife agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. These species are often trapped for the main purpose of the fur trade. Species include beaver, badger, and marten. Waterfowl Species Richness: Waterfowl Species Richness identifies the number of waterfowl species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel. This metric is important to ecological service categories related to food, fuel and materials and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. These species are regulated by state wildlife agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The species include ducks and geese. Also, revenue is generated from the sale of "duck stamps" as a federal license required for hunting migratory waterfowl. Birders may also purchase these stamps to gain free access to national wildlife refuges. Modeled Threatened And Endangered Vertebrate Species: Number of Federally listed Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species as measured by predicted habitat present within a pixel (US Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS], 2011). This metric is important to ecological service categories related to biodiversity conservation and recreation, culture, and aesthetics. These species are regulated by the USFWS as required by the Endangered Species Act.
Open/Close section Distribution Information
Resource(Server) URL: https://enviroatlas.epa.gov/arcgis/rest/services/National/National2016_master/MapServer
Download URL: https://edg.epa.gov/data/PUBLIC/ORD/ENVIROATLAS/National
Reference URL: https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas/enviroatlas-data
Website URL: https://www.epa.gov/enviroatlas
Open/Close section Time Period of Content
Publication Date: 20150507
Progress: Planned
Frequency: None Planned
Open/Close section Single Date
Date: 20130401
Currentness: Publication date
Open/Close section Spatial Domain
West Bounding Longitude: -91.9688
East Bounding Longitude: -74.4361
North Bounding Latitude: 40.6155
South Bounding Latitude: 23.8067
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Open/Close section Constraints
License https://edg.epa.gov/EPA_Data_License.html
Access: None
Use: None. Please check sources, scale, accuracy, currency and other available information. Please confirm that you are using the most recent copy of both data and metadata. Acknowledgement of the EPA would be appreciated.
Open/Close section Theme Keywords
Theme Topics: Environment and Conservation
Open/Close section Contact Information
Originator: Center for Applied Spatial Ecology, NMCFWRU, NMSU
Email: EnviroAtlas@epa.gov
Address Type: mailing and physical address
City: Research Triangle Park
State: NC
Postal Code: 27709
Telephone: (919) 541-3832
Open/Close section Metadata Reference Information
File Identifier: {2E288C4F-3908-4A0D-B432-77CD14CD9BCB}
Metadata Date Stamp: 2017-05-22
Metadata Standard Name: FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata
Metadata Standard Version: FGDC-STD-001-1998
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