As development introduces competing land uses into forest and grassland landscapes, the public expresses concern for landscape patterns through headline issues such as urban sprawl and fragmentation. Resource managers need a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of landscape patterns to know if, where, and how to take any needed actions. The spatial arrangement of the environment affects all ecological processes within that environment, and the task for resource managers is to arrange a forest or grassland in an appropriate way to provide the desired balance of biodiversity, water quality, and other amenities. National assessments of landscape patterns can help to inform those decisions by documenting the status and trends of the landscape context of natural resources.
Riitters, Kurt H. 2011. The landscape context of forest and grassland in the United States. In: Conkling, Barbara L., ed. 2011. Forest health monitoring: 2007 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-147. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station.Pages 9-24. 16 p.