EPA Science Inventory

Decline of forest interior conditions in the conterminous United States

Citation:

Riiters, K. AND J. Wickham. Decline of forest interior conditions in the conterminous United States. NATURE. Macmillan Publishers Ltd., London, Uk, 4:653, (2012).

Description:

Forest fragmentation threatens the sustainability of forest interior environments, thereby endangering subordinate ecological attributes and functions. We analyzed the spatial patterns of forest disturbance and recovery for the conterminous United States from 2001 to 2006 to determine whether forest interior environments were maintained at five spatial scales. A 1.1% net loss of total forest area was translated to net losses of 3.2% to 10.5% of forest interior area over spatial scales of 4.41 ha to 5,310 ha. At 65.6-ha scale, the reduction of forest interior area was 50,000 km2 – almost double the net loss of total forest area. The geographically pervasive discrepancy between total forest loss and forest interior loss indicates a widespread shift of the extant forest to more fragmented conditions, even in regions exhibiting small net changes in extant forest area. We conclude that trends in total forest area underestimate threats to forest from forest fragmentation.

Purpose/Objective:

Analyze spatial patterns to show that trends in total forest area underestimate threats to forest from forest fragmentation

URLs/Downloads:

WICKHAM ORD-000577 FINAL JOURNAL ARTICLE[1].PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 3020 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 10/16/2012
Completion Date: 10/16/2012
Record Last Revised: 10/31/2012
Record Created: 10/16/2012
Record Released: 10/16/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 246930

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH