Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.41 MB bytes)

Title: An indicator of forest dynamics using a shifting landscape mosaic

Author: Riitters, Kurt H.; Wickham, James D.; Wade, Timothy G.;

Date: 2009

Source: Ecological Indicators, Vol. 9: 107-117

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The composition of a landscape is a fundamental indicator in land-cover pattern assessments. The objective of this paper was to evaluate a landscape composition indicator called ‘landscape mosaic’ as a framework for interpreting land-cover dynamics over a 9-year period in a 360,000 km2 study area in the southern United States. The indicator classified a land parcel into one of 19 possible landscape mosaic classes according to the proportions of natural, developed, and agriculture land-cover types in a surrounding 4.41-ha neighborhood. Using land-cover maps from remote sensing, the landscape mosaics were calculated for each 0.09-ha pixel in the study area in 1996 and 2005. Mosaic transition matrices estimated from the pixel change data were then used to develop two Markov chain models. A ‘‘landscape mosaic’’ model was a temporal model of the shifting landscape mosaic, based on the probability of landscape mosaic change for all pixels. A ‘‘forest security’’ model was the same, except that the Markov states were defined by both the landscape mosaic and the land-cover of each pixel, which allowed interpreting forest land-cover dynamics in the context of a shifting landscape mosaic. In the forest security model, the overall percentage of forest decreased from 33% in 2005 to 17% at steady-state, and there was little change in the relative distribution of existing forest area among landscape mosaic classes. In contrast, the landscape mosaic steady-state was reached later, and indicated that a maximum of 10% of total area was available for forest. The implication was that forest security depended ultimately on the dynamics of the landscape mosaics that contained forest, not on forest dynamics within those landscape mosaics.

Publication Notes:

  • 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 to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Riitters, Kurt H.; Wickham, James D.; Wade, Timothy G. 2009. An indicator of forest dynamics using a shifting landscape mosaic. Ecological Indicators, Vol. 9: 107-117


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.