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Keyword: land use

Benefits of the free and open Landsat data policy

Publications Posted on: September 14, 2019
The United States (U.S.) federal government provides imagery obtained by federally funded Earth Observation satellites typically at no cost. For many years Landsat was an exception to this trend, until 2008 when the United States Geological Survey (USGS) made Landsat data accessible via the internet for free.

Quality control and assessment of interpreter consistency of annual land cover reference data in an operational national monitoring program

Publications Posted on: September 14, 2019
The U.S. Geological Survey Land Change Monitoring, Assessment and Projection (USGS LCMAP) initiative is working toward a comprehensive capability to characterize land cover and land cover change using dense Landsat time series data. A suite of products including annual land cover maps and annual land cover change maps will be produced using the Landsat 4-8 data record.

Recent shifts in shade tolerance and disturbance traits in forests of the eastern United States

Publications Posted on: August 19, 2019
Background: Current forests of the eastern USA have the potential to succeed in composition to more shade-tolerant species. However, long-term processes of transition from fire-tolerant tree species to fire-sensitive species and effects of current land use on forests may interfere with successional progression.

Contrasting human influences and macro-environmental factors on fire activity inside and outside protected areas of North America

Publications Posted on: August 06, 2019
Human activities threaten the effectiveness of protected areas (PAs) in achieving their conservation goals across the globe. In this study, we contrast the influence of human and macro-environmental factors driving fire activity inside and outside PAs.

Managing vegetation to increase flow in the Colorado River Basin

Publications Posted on: July 31, 2019
Water yield from forest and rangelands can be augmented by managing vegetation and snow to reduce evapotranspiration. Some arbitrary goals to increase water yield were chosen to illustrate the potential for increasing water yield, and treatments were hypothesized to get these increases.

Recognizing and restoring open forests of savannas and woodlands

Science Spotlights Posted on: April 25, 2019
Although not presented in textbooks, open forests were the dominant historical forested ecosystems of the United States. Eastern and western oak forests and southeastern pine forests no longer occur at landscape scales. Management for open oak and pine forests will provide herbaceous habitat, critical to many declining bird and pollinator species.

Recognizing loss of open forest ecosystems by tree densification and land use intensification in the Midwestern USA

Publications Posted on: April 12, 2018
Forests and grasslands have changed during the past 200 years in the eastern USA, and it is now possible to quantify loss and conversion of vegetation cover at regional scales. We quantified historical (ca. 1786-1908) and current land cover and determined long-term ecosystem change to either land use or closed forests in eight states of the Great Lakes and Midwest.

Effects of forest cover on drinking water treatment costs

Publications Posted on: November 17, 2016
This paper explores the relationship between forest cover and drinking water treatment costs using results from a 2014 survey by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) that targeted utilities in forested ecoregions in the United States. On the basis of the data collected, there is a negative relationship between forest cover and turbidity, i.e. as forest cover increased, turbidity decreased.

Managing invasive annual brome grasses and altered fire regimes

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 19, 2016
Invasive annual brome grasses are resulting in altered fire regimes and conversion of native arid and semi-arid ecosystems in the western United States to annual grass dominance. The problem is particularly acute in sagebrush shrublands where cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has resulted in annual grass fire cycles that are placing numerous native species such as greater sage-grouse at risk and threating ecosystem services such as livestock forage, hunting and recreation, and even clean air and water. This 15-chapter book examines the environmental impacts, invasiveness, environmental controls, and management alternatives for invasive annual brome-grasses.

Variance estimates and confidence intervals for the Kappa measure of classification accuracy

Publications Posted on: July 28, 2016
The Kappa statistic is frequently used to characterize the results of an accuracy assessment used to evaluate land use and land cover classifications obtained by remotely sensed data. This statistic allows comparisons of alternative sampling designs, classification algorithms, photo-interpreters, and so forth. In order to make these comparisons, it is important to know how far in error the estimate might reasonably be.