A Cartographic analysis of ecological boundary symbology
McColm, K. Lindsay
DisciplineEnvironmental Studies : Northern Environments & Cultures
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Maps are used often in ecological boundary analysis. However, there is a lack of research concerning the relationship between ecological boundary research and the cartography of ecological boundaries. This multidisciplinary study analyzes the ecology, cartography, and philosophy of ecological boundaries. Background literature in these fields is reviewed to establish a holistic view of ecological boundaries. Ecological boundaries are observed in the Thunder Bay Centennial Botanical Conservatory. Observations are analyzed in a cartographic context using a new tool, the Ecological Boundary Symbology Matrix. The symbology matrix is a flexible research tool used for cartographic analysis. Guidelines for ecological boundary symbology are presented. A map series is constructed that incorporates strategies presented in the guidelines and reflects findings of the symbology matrix. Observations and matrix analysis established that ecological boundaries interact with a number of phenomena, described in this study as 'modes', which may not be limited by the boundary in the same way. The extent to which a boundary limits its modes depends on the spatial characteristics of that boundary and the characteristics of the modes. This means that ecological boundaries can be mapped in greater detail based on boundary-mode characteristics. New boundary terms based on observed boundary characteristics are presented including: definite boundary, indefinite boundary, perforated boundary, interface boundary, and medial boundary.