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; 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.
Ritters, Kurt H. 2012. Online maps for visualizing landscape patterns at high spatial resolution. In: Potter, Kevin M.; Conkling, Barbara L. 2012. Forest health monitoring: 2008 national technical report. General Technical Report SRS-158. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pages 39-43.