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Forest Fragmentation as An Economic Indicator

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Abstract:Despite concern over the ecological consequences of conversion of land from natural cover to anthropogenic uses, there are few studies that show a quantitative relationship between fragmentation and economic factors. For the southside economic region of Virginia, we generated a surface (map) of urbanization pressure by interpolation of population from a ring of cities surrounding the region. The interpolated map showed a geographic gradient of urbanization pressure or demand for land that increased from northwest to southeast. Estimates of forest fragmentation were moderately correlated with the geographic gradient of urbanization pressure. The fragmentation-urbanization relationship was corroborated by examining land-cover change against the urbanization map. The geographic gradient in land-cover change was strongly correlated with the urbanization pressure gradient. The correspondence between geographic gradients in land-cover change and urbanization pressure suggests that forest fragmentation will occur at a greater rate in the eastern portion of the southside economic region in the future.
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Citation:Wickham, J. D., R. V. O'neill, and K. B. Jones. Forest Fragmentation as An Economic Indicator. LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY 15:171 - 179, (1999).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 10/05/1999
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