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Aug 19, 2014

Objectives-Based Vegetation Management: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Adaptive Management Program


George Otto, Quantitative Ecologist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Objectives-Based Vegetation Management (OBVM) is a statewide inventory and monitoring program that provides information to land managers about ecological conditions and vegetative response to land management strategies. Every five years, the above-ground structure of 11 vegetation attributes (e.g., pine basal area, herb cover) is measured. These quantitative measurements track vegetation attribute conditions over time. The OBVM program's objective is to demonstrate the effects of land management actions on the structure of the vegetation. The OBVM data analysis procedure requires that the measured vegetation attribute values of OBVM monitoring data fall into two groups: within desired condition (WDC) and not within desired condition (NWDC). The ratio of sample points WDC divided by the total number of sample points creates a proportion which serves as a numerical benchmark for measuring natural community quality. Comparing the results from two sample events creates a trend analysis and is a measurement of land management success in producing or maintaining natural communities of desired quality. OBVM employs the categorical response analysis reports share chart in JMP to disseminate information. This platform is the most concise way of displaying and reporting the data to the end user.