Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 572–588 | Cite as

Landscape Trends in Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States Ecoregions

  • Jerry A. GriffithEmail author
  • Stephen V. Stehman
  • Thomas R. Loveland
Profile

Abstract

Landscape pattern and composition metrics are potential indicators for broad-scale monitoring of change and for relating change to human and ecological processes. We used a probability sample of 20-km × 20-km sampling blocks to characterize landscape composition and pattern in five US ecoregions: the Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain, Southeastern Plains, Northern Piedmont, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge Mountains. Land use/land cover (LULC) data for five dates between 1972 and 2000 were obtained for each sample block. Analyses focused on quantifying trends in selected landscape pattern metrics by ecoregion and comparing trends in land cover proportions and pattern metrics among ecoregions. Repeated measures analysis of the landscape pattern documented a statistically significant trend in all five ecoregions towards a more fine-grained landscape from the early 1970s through 2000. The ecologically important forest cover class also became more fine-grained with time (i.e., more numerous and smaller forest patches). Trends in LULC, forest edge, and forest percent like adjacencies differed among ecoregions. These results suggest that ecoregions provide a geographically coherent way to regionalize the story of national land use and land cover change in the United States. This study provides new information on LULC change in the southeast United States. Previous studies of the region from the 1930s to the 1980s showed a decrease in landscape fragmentation and an increase in percent forest, while this study showed an increase in forest fragmentation and a loss of forest cover.

Keywords

Landscape monitoring Ecoregions Trends Indicators Fragmentation Mid-Atlantic United States Southeastern United States 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was performed while the lead author held a National Research Council Post doctoral Associateship at the US Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center. We appreciate the support provided by the USGS Geographic Research and Applications Program, the US Environmental Protection Agency Landscape Ecology Program in Las Vegas (Interagency Agreement DW14938108-01-0), and the NASA Land Cover/Land Use Change Program. We also wish to acknowledge the contributions and support of the entire “trends team” at the USGS EROS Data Center. Three anonymous reviewers receive our thanks for their helpful comments.

References

  1. 1.
    Barkley, D. L., Henry, M. S., Bao, S. 1996Identifying “spread” versus “backwash” effects in regional economic areas: A density functions approach.Land Economics72336357Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Barlow, S., Munn, I., Cleaves, D., Evans, D. 1998The effect of urban sprawl on timber harvesting. A look at two southern states.Journal of Forestry961014Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bielski, F. R. 1992Population and housing trends. Chester County: the new urban frontier 1980-1990.Pennsylvania Geographer304761Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bourgeron, P. S., Humphries, H. C., Barber, J. A., Turner, S. T., Jensen, M. E., Goodman, I. A. 1999Impact of broad- and fine-scale patterns on regional landscape characterization using AVHRR-derived land cover data.Ecosystem Health5234258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cain, D., Riitters, K., Orvis, K. 1997A multi-scale analysis of landscape statistics.Landscape Ecology7291302Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carsjens, G. J., van Lier, H. N. 2002Fragmentation and land-use planning—an introduction.Landscape and Urban Planning587982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Donoghue, D. M. 2002Remote sensing: environmental change.Progress in Physical Geography26144151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dramstad, W. E., Fjellstad, W. J., Strand, G. H., Mathiesen, H. F., Engan, G., Stokland, J. N. 2002Development and implementation of the Norwegian monitoring programme for agricultural landscapes.Journal of Environmental Management644963CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dumanski, J., Pieri, C. 2000Land quality indicators: research plan.Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment8193102Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fjellstad, W. J., W., E. Dramstad, G., H. Strand, Fry, G. L. A. 2001Heterogeneity as a measure of spatial pattern for monitoring agricultural landscapes.Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift557176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Forman, R. T. T. 1995Land mosaics: the ecology of landscapes and regions.Cambridge University PressCambridge632Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fuller, D. O. 2001Forest fragmentation in Loudon County, Virginia, USA evaluated with multitemporal Landsat imagery.Landscape Ecology16627642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Galehouse, R. F. 1981Land planning for large-scale residential development.Urban Land401218Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Greene, R. A., Benhart, J. E. 1992The encroachment of Megalopolis into the Great Valley: evidence from the Cumberland Valley.Pennsylvania Geographer303046Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Griffith, J. A. 1998Connecting ecological monitoring and ecological indicators: a review of the literature.Journal of Environmental Systems26325363Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Griffith, J. A., Martinko, E. A., Price, K. P. 2000Landscape structure analysis of Kansas at three scales.Landscape and Urban Planning524561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Griffiths, G. H., Lee, J., Eversham, B. C. 2000Landscape pattern and species richness: regional scale analysis from remote sensing.International Journal of Remote Sensing2126852704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gustafson, E. 1998Quantifying landscape spatial pattern: what is the state of the art?Ecosystems1143156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Harrison, A. R., Dunn, R. 1993Problems of sampling the landscape. Pages 101–109Haines-Young, R.Green, D. R.Cousins, S. eds. Landscape ecology and geographic information systems.Taylor and FrancisLondon288Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hart, J. F. 2000The metempsychosis of King Cotton.Southeastern Geographer0093105Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hartshorne, T. A. 1997The changed south, 1947–1997.Southeastern Geographer37122139Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Henderson, B. M., Walsh, S. J. 1995“Plowed, paved, or in succession”: land-cover change on the North Carolina piedmont.Southeastern Geographer35132149Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Herzog, F., Lausch, A. 2001Supplementing land-use statistics with landscape metrics: some methodological considerations.Environmental Monitoring and Assessment723750CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Holm, A., Bennett, L., Loneragan, W., Adams, M. A. 2002Relationships between empirical and nominal indices of landscape function in the arid shrubland of Western Australia.Journal of Arid Environments50121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Houghton, R. A., Hackler, J. L. 2000Changes in terrestrial carbon storage in the United States. 1. The roles of agriculture and forestry.Global Ecology and Biogeography9125144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hu, S., Hendrix, P. F., Beare, M. H., Coleman, D. C., Carroll, C. R. 1997Labile soil carbon pools in subtropical forest and agricultural ecosystems as influenced by management practices and vegetation types.Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment656978Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hughes, R. M., Paulsen, S. G., Stoddard, J. L. 2000EMAP-surface waters: a multiassemblage, probability survey of ecological integrity in the U.S.A.Hydrobiologia422/423429443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Imbernon, J., Branthomme, A. 2001Characterization of landscape patterns of deforestation in tropical rainforests.International Journal of Remote Sensing2217531765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Jones, K. B., Neale, A. C., Nash, M. S., Van Remortel, R. D., Wickham, J. D., Riitters, K. H., O’Neill, R. V. 2001Predicting nutrient and sediment loadings to streams from landscape metrics: A multiple watershed study from the United States Mid-Atlantic Region.Landscape Ecology16301312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kammerbauer, J., Cordoba, B., Escolan, R., Flores, S., Ramirez, V., Zeledon, J. 2001Identification of development indicators in tropical mountainous regions and some implications for natural resource policy designs: an integrated community case study.Ecological Economics364560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lambin, E. F. 1999Monitoring forest degradation in tropical regions by remote sensing: some methodological issues.Global Ecology and Biogeography8191198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Li, H., Reynolds, J. 1995On definition and quantification of heterogeneity.Oikos73280284Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Loveland, T. R., Sohl, T. L., Stehman, S. V., Gallant, A. L., Sayler, K. L., Napton, D. E. 2002A strategy for estimating the rates of recent United Stated land-cover changes.Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing6810911099Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lundquist, J. E., Lindner, L., Popp, J. 2001Using landscape metrics to measure suitability of a forested watershed: a case study for old-growth.Canadian Journal of Forest Research3117861792CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Marcucci, D. J. 2000Landscape history as a planning tool.Landscape and Urban Planning496781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Marzluff, J. M., Ewing, K. 2001Restoration of fragmented landscapes for the conservation of birds: A general framework and specific recommendations for urbanizing landscapes.Restoration Ecology9280292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    McDonald, M. E. 2000EMAP Overview: Objectives, approaches, and achievements.Environmental Monitoring and Assessment6438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    McGarigal, K. 1999. FRAGSTATS 3.01.02. Software and user’s manual. http://www-unix-oit.umass.edu/~fragstatGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Meredith, M. P., Stehman, S. V. 1991Repeated measures experiments in forestry: focus on analysis of response curves.Canadian Journal of Forest Research21957965Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mladenoff, D. J., Niemi, G. J., White, M. A. 1997Effects of changing landscape pattern and U.S.G.S. land cover data variability on ecoregion discrimination across a forest-agriculture gradient.Landscape Ecology12379396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Mol, G., Vriend, S. P., Van Gaans, P. F. M. 2001Environmental monitoring in The Netherlands: Past developments and future challenges.Environmental Monitoring and Assessment68313335CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Olff, H., Ritchie, M. E. 2002Fragmented nature: consequences for biodiversity.Landscape and Urban Planning588392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Omernik, J. M. 1987Ecoregions of the conterminous United States.Annals of the Association of American Geographers77118125(and map supplement)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Omernik, J. M. 1995Ecoregions—a framework for environmental management. Pages 49–62Davis, W.Simon, T. eds. Biological assessment and criteria.Lewis PublishersBoca Raton432Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    O’Neill, R. V., Hunsaker, C. T., Jones, K. B., Riitters, K., Wickham, J., Schwartz, P., Goodman, I., Jackson, B., Baillargeon, W. 1997Monitoring environmental quality at the landscape scale.Bioscience47513519Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    O’Neill, R. V., Hunsaker, C. T., Timmins, S. P., Jackson, B., Jones, K. B., Riitters, K., Wickham, J. 1996Scale problems in reporting landscape pattern at the regional scale.Landscape Ecology113169180Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    O’Neill, R. V., K. B. Jones, K. H. Riitters, J. D. Wickham, and I. A. Goodman. 1994. Landscape monitoring and assessment research plan. EPA/620/R-94/009. US Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, Nevada. Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Pandit, K. 1997The southeastern migration turnaround and current patterns.Southeastern Geographer37238250Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Petit, C. C., Lambin, E. F. 2001Integration of multi-source remote sensing data for land cover change detection.International Journal of Geographical Information Science15785803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Reed, R. A., Johnson-Barnard, J., Baker, W. L. 1996Fragmentation of a forested Rocky Mountain landscape.Biological Conservation75267276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Riebsame, W. J., Parton, W. J., Galvin, I. C., Burke, L., Bohren, L., Yung, R., Knop, E. 1994Integrated modeling of land use and cover change.Bioscience44350356Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Riitters, K. H., O’Neill, R. V., Hunsaker, C. T., Wickham, J., Yankee, D., Timmins, S. P., Jones, K. B., Jackson, B. 1995A factor analysis of landscape pattern and structure metrics.Landscape Ecology102339Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Riitters, K. H., Wickham, J. D., O’Neill, R. V., Jones, K. B., Smith, E. R., Coulston, J. W., Wade, T. G., Smith, J. H. 2002Fragmentation of continental United States forests.Ecosystems5815822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Saunders, D. A., Hobbs, R. J., Margules, C. R. 1991Biological consequences of ecosystem fragmentation: a review.Conservation Biology51832Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Simberloff, D. 1999The role of science in the preservation of forest biodiversity.Forest Ecology and Management115101111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Sohl, T. L., Dwyer, J. L. 1998North American landscape characterization project: the production of a continental scale three-decade Landsat data set.Geocarto International134351Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Stehman, S. V., T. L. Sohl, and T. R. Loveland. 2003. Statistical sampling to characterize land-cover change in the U.S. Geological Survey land-cover trends project. Remote Sensing of Environment 86: 517–529Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Trani, M. K., Giles, R. H. Jr. 1999An analysis of deforestation: metrics used to describe pattern change.Forest Ecology and Management114459470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Turner, M. G. 1990Landscape changes in nine rural counties in Georgia.Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing56379386Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Vaitkus, M. R., ed. 2002. Final program and abstracts. 17th annual symposium of the International Association for Landscape Ecology—United States Regional Association (US-IALE). Landscapes in Transition: Cultural Drivers and Natural Constraints. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Vogelmann, J. E., Howard, S. M., Yang, L., Larson, C. R., Wylie, B., Van Driel, N. 2001Completion of the 1990s national land cover data set for the conterminous United States from Landsat Thematic Mapper data and ancillary sources.Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing67650662Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Walcott, S. M. 1999High tech in the deep south: biomedical firm clusters in Atlanta.Growth and Change304874Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Williams, M. 1990Forests. Pages 179–201.Turner, B. L.Clark, W. C.Kates, R. W.Richards, J. W.Matthews, J. T.Meyer, W. B. eds. The earth as transformed by human action: global and regional changes in the biosphere over the past 300 years.Cambridge University PressCambridge713Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Yang, L., Stehman, S. V., Smith, J. H., Wickham, J. D. 2001Thematic accuracy of MRLC land cover for the eastern United States.Remote Sensing of Environment76418422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Zar, J. H. 1999Biostatistical Analysis, 4th ed.Prentice-HallUpper Saddle River, New Jersey663Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry A. Griffith
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephen V. Stehman
    • 2
  • Thomas R. Loveland
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geography Box 5051University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi 39406-5051USA
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New York, 322 Bray Hall, 1 Forestry Drive Syracuse, New York 13210-2778USA
  3. 3.EROS Data CenterU.S. Geological Survey, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57198USA

Personalised recommendations