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Landscape Composition and Pattern

Researchers at the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station have utilized the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) to calculate a suite of land cover and forest fragmentation metrics at landscape scales. These datasets yield rich spatial information about urbanization, its effects on forests, and how urban areas interface and mix with rural, agricultural, and forest landscapes.

The Landcover Mosaic Map (Landscape Mosaic Pattern) illustrates the mixture of agricultural, developed, and semi-natural land cover types within 15-hectare neighborhoods (about 37 acres). Also within 15-hectare neighborhoods, the Forest Area Density map (Landscape Forest Density) illustrates the proportion of the landscape around a given forest area that is also forested. Areas with low forest density may be fragmented by agricultural land use and/or urban and exurban development.

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Last modified: 
12/16/2015 - 22:04