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Using the Predicting Target Vegetation Tool

This tool is a Microsoft Access Application. You will need Access 2000 or higher to run this tool.

  1. Download the tool here.
  2. Unzip the downloaded file. Help for unzipping may be found here.
  3. Double-click the .mdb file that you have unzipped.
  4. The opening screen contains a few vertical panels. Follow these from left to right. Click any of the images below for a larger version of the image in a new window.
  5. Step 1: viewing or entering environmental information
    screenshot of steps 1 and 2
    The first screen shows data filled in as an example. If you want to enter information for a new site, press the "start new site data" button. Then enter data in one or more fields for which you have information. All fields are optional. More information will provide a better basis for the next steps. There are also some additional fields that are available on the far right side of the form, but these are not thought to be as important or or are less commonly known.
  6. Step 2: identify target communities
    screenshot of step 3
    Press the "find most similar communities" button to search for communities that are similar to the environmental data you entered. After you press this button, a list will appear with a ranking of community types. They are listed by dissimilarity (dissim, with 0=same, 1=completely different). The number of fields used in the calculation is listed as dim. (dimensions). The rank (from 1-12) and difference between a particular community and the best community are also listed. This last statistic is useful for identifying where more than one community are very similar to a site.
  7. Step 3: Use target community to identify target species
    screenshot of step 4
    Select a community from the picklist at the top of step 3 to see which species commonly occur with that community. Each species is listed, along with the percent of plots where the species is found in the community, the average cover, and whether the species is woody or not. Only woody species occurring in a high percent of plots are shown initially, but this can be changed with the checkboxes at the top of the box showing species.
  8. Step 3, part 2: highlighting which variables are similar to your site
    screenshot of step 4 highlighting
    After you select a community in step 3, the site data will be highlighted according to how similar each variable is to the currently selected community. A scale at the top displays the colors used for the similarity, going from green (exactly the same) to red (nothing in common). Select a different community to see how your site's individual variables compare to that community. This is useful for identifying if our site matches a community pretty well, except for one or two variables.
  9. You are finished and hopefully you now have a good planting list.