Temporal trends in landscape pattern metrics describing texture, patch shape and patch size were evaluated in the US Middle Atlantic Coastal Plain Ecoregion. The landscape pattern metrics were calculated for a sample of land use/cover data obtained for four points in time from 1973-1992. The multiple sampling dates permit evaluation of trend, whereas availability of only two sampling dates allows only evaluation of change. Observed statistically significant trends in the landscape pattern metrics demonstrated that the sampling-based monitoring protocol was able to detect a trend toward a more fine-grained landscape in this ecoregion. This sampling and analysis protocol is being extended spatially to the remaining 83 ecoregions in the US and temporally to the year 2000 to provide a national and regional synthesis of the temporal and spatial dynamics of landscape pattern covering the period 1973-2000.