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Article

Forest Area Change in the Shifting Landscape Mosaic of the Continental United States from 2001 to 2016

1
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
2
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ogden, UT 84401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(11), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110417
Received: 25 September 2020 / Revised: 17 October 2020 / Accepted: 26 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Change Modelling)
The landscape context (i.e., anthropogenic setting) of forest change partly determines the social-ecological outcomes of the change. Furthermore, forest change occurs within, is constrained by, and contributes to a dynamic landscape context. We illustrate how information about local landscape context can be incorporated into regional assessments of forest area change. We examined the status and change of forest area in the continental United States from 2001 to 2016, quantifying landscape context by using a landscape mosaic classification that describes the dominance and interface (i.e., juxtaposition) of developed and agriculture land in relation to forest and other land. The mosaic class changed for five percent of total land area and three percent of total forest area. The least stable classes were those comprising the developed interface. Forest loss rates were highest in developed-dominated landscapes, but the forest area in those landscapes increased by 18 percent as the expansion of developed landscapes assimilated more forest area than was lost from earlier developed landscapes. Conversely, forest loss rates were lowest in agriculture-dominated landscapes where there was a net loss of five percent of forest area, even as the area of those landscapes also increased. Exposure of all land to nearby forest removal, fire, and stress was highest in natural-dominated landscapes, while exposure to nearby increases in developed and agriculture land was highest in developed- and agriculture-dominated landscapes. We discuss applications of our approach for mapping, monitoring, and modeling landscape and land use change. View Full-Text
Keywords: land change; large-scale approaches; land systems analysis; landscape context; landscape pattern; forests land change; large-scale approaches; land systems analysis; landscape context; landscape pattern; forests
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MDPI and ACS Style

Riitters, K.; Schleeweis, K.; Costanza, J. Forest Area Change in the Shifting Landscape Mosaic of the Continental United States from 2001 to 2016. Land 2020, 9, 417. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110417

AMA Style

Riitters K, Schleeweis K, Costanza J. Forest Area Change in the Shifting Landscape Mosaic of the Continental United States from 2001 to 2016. Land. 2020; 9(11):417. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110417

Chicago/Turabian Style

Riitters, Kurt, Karen Schleeweis, and Jennifer Costanza. 2020. "Forest Area Change in the Shifting Landscape Mosaic of the Continental United States from 2001 to 2016" Land 9, no. 11: 417. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110417

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