Pine Barrens Natural Community Systems
- Pine Barrens Systems are a mosaic of pitch pine and scrub oak, with heath and grassy openings, located on nutrient-poor, acidic, drought-prone soils. Most of this data is in the southeast a subset of the UMass Plymouth pitch pine data layer (1993). Some revisions have been made to the UMass data (false labels corrected, edges tied, some new developed land removed). Due to spatial accuracy issues, the UMass data should be used for regional analysis only, at scales of 1:30,000 and smaller. A new and separate datalayer was created for pitch pine barrens outside the UMass project area. This new data was created from aerial photo interpretation of the 1999/2000 photos and field information. The UMass pitch pine data used the Massachusetts DEM's Standard Forest Classification System, with additional types created to describe other vegetation types and maintain a crosswalk with the Patterson pitch pine classification system. An explanation of the UMass pitch pine classification system is contained in the .PDF document http://www.mass.gov/mgis/umasspitchpine.pdf. The Pine Barrens system has two layers, named VCPINBARRENS_POLY (new data) and VCPINEBARRENS2_POLY (UMass data) in ArcSDE. This layer is part of the MassGIS Priority Natural Vegetation Communities dataset, which depicts the distribution of the eight natural community systems identified by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP) as most critical to the conservation of the Commonwealth’s biological diversity (Barbour et al., 1998).
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