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Landscape Characterization Of Four Watersheds Under Different Forest Management Scenarios In The Ouachita Mountains Of ArkansasAuthor(s): Philip A. Tappe; Robert C. Weih; Ronald E. Thill; M. Anthony Melchiors; T. Bently Wigley
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-74. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 146-153
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionAbstract - Recent changes in philosophy concerning forest management have focused attention on managing ecosystems at scales beyond the stand level. Properties of forested landscapes, such as patch size and shape, edge density, and interspersion have direct influences on flora and fauna. However, there is little information regarding spatial patterns and processes across large-scale landscapes. We quantified landscape characteristics for four watersheds in the Ouachita Mountains that represent different ownerships and management objectives. The watersheds included (1) an intensively managed landscape predominantly under forest industry ownership, (2) a landscape that has historically been managed under USDA Forest Service standards and guidelines, (3) a landscape composed of a mixture of forest industry and USDA Forest Service lands, and (4) a landscape that has received minimal management and now is largely mature forest. Using multi-temporal Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite imagery in conjunction with field-collected data, landcover classifications were developed. This information was incorporated into a geographic information system and landscape metrics were computed. Metrics such as mean patch size and density, edge density, and interspersion varied by watershed. Differences in watersheds at both the watershed and landcover class levels suggest that the dynamics of some ecological interactions are likely to also be different in each watershed. However, the interpretation of specific watershed characteristics is dependant on the particular phenomena being investigated. The quantified differences in landscape characteristics of each watershed provide important information that can aid in making management decisions in our ecologically and socioloically complex forests.
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CitationTappe, Philip A.; Weih, Robert C., Jr.; Thill, Ronald E.; Melchiors, M. Anthony; Wigley, T. Bently 2004. Landscape Characterization Of Four Watersheds Under Different Forest Management Scenarios In The Ouachita Mountains Of Arkansas. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-74. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 146-153
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