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Join date : 2017-04-05

Climate Similarity Analyses

on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:07 pm
I developed two apps to guide seed collection and sourcing for restoration projects at my previous position with USGS. These tools are based upon methods discussed in detail in a recent publication: If you lack access, message me and I can email you a pdf.

The first tool allows you to define an area of interest and divide it into sub-regions that differ in climate. You can specify how many sub-regions you want (up to 50), corresponding to, e.g., the number seed sources desired in a seed banking effort or for common garden study. The sub-regions are mapped as differing colors, with underlying gradation that indicates where the climatic centers lie (darker ends of the gradient are more similar to the centers). By sampling from the dark areas of each sub-region, collectors can maximize climatic coverage for a target number of collections. This is a tool which may be appropriate if you find that seed transfer zones are too coarse or too fine for your application or available resources.

The second tool provides support for deciding which materials are most appropriate from a list of source-identified seed. You upload a spreadsheet of source ids and geographic coordinates, and the app produces a map indicating which seed source is the closest climate match for every point across the mapped region. Additionally, it indicates the quality of the match, an assessment that takes into account the breadth of climatic conditions within your area of interest. You can also generate a ranked list of the climate match of the seed sources by clicking on the map. This ranking function could be used to pick the top sources from the list to hedge bets should factors other than climate prove important for establishment. This tool may be appropriate if you cannot obtain seed from a seed zone or you have multiple options within a seed zone.

I am interested in feedback from the community on the utility of these tools. I would like to update them in the future if I can find a funding source to do so, though I am currently pursuing a PhD in forestry, which is unrelated to these past projects, and has priority during the school year.

Potential Updates:
- Improving performance and reducing costs of operation/web hosting (Current hosting solution is slower than I'd like, though its funding source is semi-stable. It can take up to 5 minutes to generate a map)
- Robust documentation with youtube videos and pdf vignettes documenting use cases
- Expansion of geographic extent, which is presently limited to western North America
- Climate partitioning, matching, and ranking based upon future climate scenarios
- Inclusion of global soil models from
- Addition of controls to increase or decrease the weight or importance of any one environmental variable in the analyses
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