You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Use of Road Maps in National Assessments of Forest Fragmentation in the United States
Author: Riitters, Kurt H.; Wickham, James; Coulston, John
Source: Ecology and Society 9(2): 13. [online]
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
Description: The question of incorporating road maps into U.S. national assessments of forest fragmentation has been a contentious issue, but there has not been a comparative national analysis to inform the debate. Using data and indices from previous national assessments, we compared fragmentation as calculated from high-resolution land-cover maps alone (Method 1) and after superimposing detailed road maps (Method 2). There was more overall fragmentation with Method 2. However, because roads were often adjacent to other nonforest land cover, Method 1 typically detected > 80% of the forest edge and > 88% of the fragmentation of core, i.e., intact, forest that was detected by Method 2. Indices based on individual patch size changed much more for Method 2; for example, area-weighted average patch size was typically 50–-90% smaller. The relative geographic distribution of core forest was the same for both methods. Our results emphasize that the question of incorporating road maps must consider the purpose of the assessment, the characteristics of the data, and the relative sensitivities of indices to different patterns of fragmentation. As a practical matter, unless road-caused fragmentation is of special interest, land-cover maps alone may provide an adequate representation of the geography of forest fragmentation
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly
which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
XML: View XML
Riitters, Kurt H.; Wickham, James; Coulston, John 2004. Use of Road Maps in National Assessments of Forest Fragmentation in the United States. Ecology and Society 9(2): 13. [online]
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility