This data set is a subset of Olson et al. (1985, 2000) "Major World Ecosystem Complexes Ranked by Carbon in Live Vegetation." This subset was created for the study area of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) in South America (i.e., latitude 10° N to 25° S, longitude 30° to 85° W). The data are in ASCII GRID format.
"Major World Ecosystem Complexes Ranked by Carbon in Live Vegetation" is a computerized database used to generate a global vegetation map of 44 different land ecosystem complexes (mosaics of vegetation or landscapes) comprising seven broad groups. The map is derived from patterns of preagricultural vegetation, modern areal surveys, and intensive biomass data from research sites. Work on the database was begun in 1960 and completed in 1980.
Ecosystem complexes are defined for each 0.5-degree grid cell, reflecting the major climatic, topographic, and land-use patterns. Numeric codes are assigned to each vegetation type. Classifications include natural as well as human managed/modified complexes such as mainly cropped, residential, commercial, and park. The complexes are ranked by estimated organic carbon in the mass of live plants given in units of kilograms of carbon per square meter. Counting the cells of each type and adding their areas give total area estimates for the ecosystem complexes. Multiplying by carbon estimates gives corresponding estimates of carbon by ecosystem complex with in the LBA study area. The results help define the role of the terrestrial biosphere in the global carbon cycle.
Information about the ecosystem classifications, as well as the procedure used to create the LBA subset can be found at ftp://daac.ornl.gov/data/lba/carbon_dynamics/olson/comp/olson_readme.pdf.
LBA was a cooperative international research initiative led by Brazil. NASA was a lead sponsor for several experiments. LBA was designed to create the new knowledge needed to understand the climatological, ecological, biogeochemical, and hydrological functioning of Amazonia; the impact of land use change on these functions; and the interactions between Amazonia and the Earth system. More information about LBA can be found at http://www.daac.ornl.gov/LBA/misc_amazon.html.
Cite this data set as follows:
Olson, J. S., J. A. Watts, and L. J. Allison. 2003. LBA Regional Carbon in Live Vegetation, 0.5-Degree (Olson). Data set. Available on-line [http://daac.ornl.gov] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. doi:10.3334/ORNLDAAC/672.
Olson, J. S., J. A. Watts, and L. J. Allison. 2000. Major World Ecosystem Complexes Ranked by Carbon in Live Vegetation: A Database (Revised November 2000). NDP-017. Available on-line [http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/ndps/ndp017.html] from Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Olson, J. S., J. A. Watts, and L. J. Allison, 1985. Major World Ecosystem Complexes Ranked by Carbon in Live Vegetation. NDP-017. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Information about the data format, ecosystem classification, and the procedure used to create the LBA subset are in the following file: ftp://daac.ornl.gov/data/lba/carbon_dynamics/olson/comp/olson_readme.pdf.