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METHODS USED IN THE ASSEMBLY AND ANALYSES OF BIOPHYSICAL DATA

Our predictive models of avian distribution and abundance are simply explanations of spatial patterns in the avian data set. These explanations are in terms of the biophysical factors such as climate, landcover and human activities to which birds respond. Biophysical data are required in addition to avian data to develop predictive models of the distribution, abundance, and community structure for boreal birds. Before modelling could be undertaken, as with the avian data, BAM developed and applied analytical approaches to:

  • Evaluate the currently-available remote-sensed land-cover products and chose the one most suitable for our modelling needs;
  • Assemble a consistent national coverage of digital Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) data;
  • Correlate the divergent Forest Resource Inventory (FRI) data collected from private and governmental sources across Canada into a common standard called Common Attribute Schema for Forest Resource Inventories (CASFRI);
  • Evaluate which climate and land cover variables would be most valuable in models (using CART analyses);
  • Assemble maps of wetland habitats;
  • Assemble a wetland habitat data layer; 
  • Determine the resolution of satellite landcover data that proved most useful to address questions about boreal avian ecology.