Enduring Features are defined by identifying the physical components of a landscape that also support and influence plant and animal communities. An enduring feature is a polygon drawn around a set of physical landform characteristics – including bedrock, surface geology, elevation, slope, and aspect – on which particular types of vegetation are expected to grow. Because Enduring Features are based on physical components that change slowly, they can be modeled with more ongoing certainty than biological features which are affected by climate; even as climate change impacts the distribution of vegetation communities, enduring features modelling stays relevant.
In the Enduring Features model, each colour-coded feature has distinct characteristics of geology, soil, elevation, slope, and orientation. Places with a high variety of physical diversity typically offer more habitat options and frequently support the greatest variety of plant and animal species. Enduring features identifies the highly varied landscapes (mapped as darker red tones) that have potential for high biodiversity. The enduring features map also displays patterns, including rarity, uniqueness, and distribution.
Enduring features data can be used to model habitat values and projected environmental impacts, such as climate change or deforestation. For conservation planning, enduring features can be used in designing ecosystem based management that protects biodiversity.
The model was developed and produced by Gregory Kehm & Associates, Vancouver, BC.
DIEM project is grateful to the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Strathcona Regional District for funding to map the Enduring Features.