Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen M. Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa M. DeChano

Third Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Ecotones are areas of transition between adjacent ecosystems that exist at various geographic scales, and are useful in measuring climatic changes. Ecotones are defined by their length and breadth and the ability to detect and map an ecotone from a specific period in time would be useful in measuring current and future change.

The study focused on a 1880's vegetation ecotone in the center of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. This was achieved by deriving ecological variables from the U.S. public land survey's tree species data. These variables were then used to ascertain the length of the ecotone by finding the boundary between northern and southern forests, and the breadth of the ecotone by mapping statistically significant points of change determined by applying a moving split-window to the transect data. It was found that Non-Larix conifer density was the best variable to define this ecotone at a regional scale.

Included in

Geography Commons