Skip to Main Content
Fragmentation of Continental United States ForestsAuthor(s): Kurt H. Riitters; James D. Wickham; Robert V. O'Neill; K. Bruce Jones; Elizabeth R. Smith; John W. Coulston; Timothy G. Wade; Jonathan H. Smith
Source: Ecosystems (2002) 5: 815-822
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (355 B)
DescriptionWe report a multiple-scale analysis of forest fragmentation based on 30-m (0.09 ha pixel-1) land- cover maps for the conterminous United States. Each 0.09-ha unit of forest was classified according to fragmentation indexes measured within the surrounding landscape, for five landscape sizes including 2.25, 7.29, 65.61, 590.49, and 5314.41 ha. Most forest is found in fragmented landscapes. With 65.61-ha landscapes, for example, only 9.9% of all forest was contained in a fully forested landscape, and only 46.9% was in a landscape that was more than 90% forested. Overall, 43.5% of forest was located within 90 m of forest edge and 61.8% of forest was located within 150 m of forest edge. Nevertheless, where forest existed, it was usually dominant-at least 72.9% of all forest was in landscapes that were at least 60% forested for all landscape sizes. Small (less than 7.29 ha) perforations in otherwise continuous forest cover accounted for about half of the fragmentation. These results sug- gest that forests are connected over large regions, but fragmentation is so pervasive that edge effects potentially influence ecological processes on most forested lands.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRiitters, Kurt H.; Wickham, James D.; O''Neill, Robert V.; Jones, K. Bruce; Smith, Elizabeth R.; Coulston, John W.; Wade, Timothy G.; Smith, Jonathan H. 2002. Fragmentation of Continental United States Forests. Ecosystems (2002) 5: 815-822
Keywordsforest ecology, edge effect, spatial pattern, landscape pattern, forest fragmentation
- Evaluating anthropogenic risk of grassland and forest habitat degradation using land-cover data
- Stand structure in eastside old-growth ponderosa pine forests of Oregon and northern California.
- An indicator of forest dynamics using a shifting landscape mosaic
XML: View XML