Endpoint: Endpoints describe a characteristic of an ecosystem of interest, and should be an ecologically relevant measurement. An endpoint can be any parameter, from a biochemical state to an ecological community's functional condition.
EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
GIS: Geographic Information System(s)
GLB: Great Lakes Basin
Landscape: A complex concept encompassing several definitions: For the purposes of this report, a landscape is an area containing a mosaic of land cover "patches", i.e., distinct areas that can be defined or mapped. The traits, patterns, and structure of a specific geographic area including its biological composition, its physical environment, and its anthropogenic or social patterns.
Landscape characterization: The process of documenting the traits and patterns of the essential elements of the landscape.
Landscape ecology: The study of the distribution patterns of communities and ecosystems, the ecological processes that affect those patterns, and changes in pattern and process over time and space.
Landscape indicator: A measurement of the landscape, calculated from mapped or remotely sensed data, used to describe some other spatial or temporal pattern(s) of land use or land cover across a geographic area.
Landscape metrics: A measurement of a component or components (e.g., patches of forest) within the landscape, which is used to characterize composition and spatial configuration of the component within the landscape (e.g., forest size, fragmentation, proximity to other land cover types).
Landscape unit: A reference unit (usually of area) that is being measured, mapped, or described.
Natural Breaks: Classes are based on natural groupings of data values. Natural break points are identified by looking for groupings and patterns inherent in the data. The features are divided into classes whose boundaries are set where there are relatively large jumps in the distribution of data values.
ORD: Office of Research and Development
Patch: A discrete land cover unit, for example a "patch of wetland" is a specific 7-acre emergent wetland in Ashland County, Wisconsin.
Perforated: The condition of a patch where gaps in the patch exist, such as a gap in a forest patch, which may contain shrub, grass, or other non-forest land cover.
PRISM: Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model
Quantile: Each class contains an approximately equal number (count) of features. A quantile classification is well-suited to linearly distributed data. Because features are grouped by the number within each class, the resulting map can be misleading, in that similar features can be separated into adjacent classes, or features with widely different values can be lumped into the same class. This distortion can be minimized by increasing the number of classes.
Reporting Unit: Any defined area (e.g., an 8-digit USGS hydrologic unit code "HUC" or portion thereof) for which a landscape metric (e.g., percent urban) is calculated.
RUSLE: Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation
SEDMOD: Spatially Explicit Sediment Delivery Model
SOLEC: State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference
Standard Deviation: Classes show the amount a feature's attribute value varies from the mean value of the distribution. Class breaks are generated by successively adding or subtracting the standard deviation from the mean. A two-color ramp is best used to emphasize values above or below the mean. It is particularly useful in viewing spatial variability of a parameter.
STATSGO: State Soil Geographic (database)