Landscape Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 63-75

First online:

Developing alternative forest cutting patterns: A simulation approach

  • Habin LiAffiliated withDepartment of Forest Science, Oregon State University
  • , Jerry F. FranklinAffiliated withCollege of Forest Resources, University of Washington
  • , Frederick J. SwansonAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
  • , Thomas A. SpiesAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

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This study examines effects of different forest cutting patterns on habitat fragmentation in managed forest landscapes. We use computer simulation to conduct experiments in which we examine effects of different cutting patterns, cutting-unit size, and special constraints (e.g., a forest reserve, a stream system, or a road system) on landscape patterns. Fragmentation indices are used to quantify structural changes over the cutting cycle and among different treatments of the experiments. Degree of fragmentation varies greatly among the five cutting patterns used; aggregation of cutting units results in low degree and gradual change of fragmentation. Cutting patterns with larger cutting units and additional landscape constraints also lead to lower degree of fragmentation. Moreover, differences in fragmentation among the treatments are not observed until 30% or 50% of the landscape is cut.


landscape ecology simulation index wildlife habitat forest management fragmentation