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Layer: Carbon Assessment of Hawaii - Biome Unit (ID: 2)

Name: Carbon Assessment of Hawaii - Biome Unit

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Description: The CAH Land Cover Map was produced to serve as a base map for estimating current and future carbon stocks for the main Hawaiian Islands as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's national carbon assessment. The CAH General Map units were used to calculate current carbon stocks and the CAH Biome units were used as a starting point for projecting future distribution of the major plant communities from which potential future carbon stocks were calculated. While there have been many maps produced that depict vegetation for the state of Hawai‘i only a few of these display land cover for all of the main Hawaiian Islands, and most of those that were created before the year 2000 have very generalized units or are somewhat inaccurate as a result of more recent land use changes or due to poor resolution (both spatial and spectral) in the imagery that was used to produce the map. Some of the more detailed and accurate maps include the Hawai‘i GAP Analysis (HI-GAP) Land Cover map (Gon et al. 2006), the NOAA C-CAP Land Cover map (NOAA National Ocean Service Coastal Services Center 2012), and the more recently released Hawai‘i LANDFIRE EVT Land Cover map (U.S. Geological Survey 2009). However, all of these maps as originally produced were not considered to be detailed enough, current enough, or had other classification issues that would not allow them to be used as the primary base for the Hawai‘i Carbon Assessment. For the Hawai‘i Carbon Assessment we integrated components from several of these previously mentioned land cover and land use mapping efforts and combined them into a single new land cover map (CAH Land Cover) that was further updated using very-high-resolution imagery. The hierarchical classification system of the CAH Land Cover map allows for grouping the mapped units into different configurations, ranging from very detailed plant communities reflecting current conditions to very generalized major land cover units and biomes that represent land use and potential vegetation zones, respectively. The CAH Land Cover classification is hierarchical with forty-eight CAH Detailed Land Cover units which can be grouped into twenty-seven CAH General Land Cover units, thirteen CAH Biome units, and seven CAH Major Land Cover units (Appendix 1). The CAH Detailed Land Cover units generally correspond to the rUSNVC Association level, the CAH General Land Cover units are related to the rUSNVC Group level, and the CAH Biome units connect to the rUSNVC Subclass level. For more information, please see complete metadata at or contact the Hawaii Statewide GIS Program at

Copyright Text: Zhiliang Zhu (U.S. Geological Survey Land Carbon Program); U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center; U.S. Forest Service's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry; University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management (NREM), College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)

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