LANDFIRE (LF) calls historic (pre-European settlement) ecosystems "Biophysical Settings," or BpS. To better understand how BpS functioned across the United States, LF worked with hundreds of experts to develop descriptions and models. The results are combined into "sets" or bundles that are available to anyone for free online.
The What and the How of BpS Models
LF used an expert-based development process to create state-and-transition models that describe pre-settlement ecosystem structure and function for every Ecological System present in the current LF BpS spatial dataset. Each ecosystem, which LF calls a Biophysical Setting (BpS), has a description document and a quantitative state-and-transition model including succession/growth and disturbance that can be viewed and manipulated in the free modeling platform SyncroSim.
LF used the BpS models to estimate reference conditions (sometimes referred to as "Natural Range of Variability" or NRV) for each BpS, which are then used to help evaluate ecosystem health through a departure metric called Vegetation Departure. The document "Using the LF Biophysical Settings Model Descriptions" examines major elements of the BpS descriptions and their uses. In addition, expert-developed models and descriptions are the source of LF's historic fire regime information.
Vegetation dynamics models: a comprehensive set for natural resource assessment and planning in the United States
This article describes the ongoing development of a comprehensive set of vegetation reference conditions based on over 900 quantitative vegetation dynamic models and accompanying description documents for terrestrial ecosystems in the USA.
How others use BpS Models
A variety of applications of BpS models have been described in project reports, meeting presentations, posters and journal articles. Examples include:
Download BpS Models and Descriptions
LF Biophysical Settings (BpS) products and format delivery include three options:
|Biophysical Settings Models, Descriptions and Related Information|
|Revised CONUS and Hawaii||Original Alaska|
|State and Transition Models||State and Transition Models|
|BpS Descriptions||BpS Descriptions|
|Reference Conditions||Reference Conditions|
|Succession Class Rules|
Unsure of which model you need? Use the searchable BpS website to locate and download specific BpS models and descriptions.
Other Vegetation Dynamics Models: LF models built upon previous modeling efforts during the Rapid Assessment and Fire Regime Condition Class (FRCC) programs. LF Rapid Assessment models can be requested at email@example.com. Information about FRCC models can be found in the FRCC Guidebook.