Regional differences of urbanization in the conterminous U.S. on upland forest land cover, 1973-2011

Forests
By: , and 

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Abstract

In this U.S. Geological Survey study of forest land cover across the conterminous U.S. (CONUS), specific proportions and rates of forest conversion to developed (urban) land were assessed on an ecoregional basis. The study period was divided into six time intervals between 1973 and 2011. Forest land cover was the source of 40% or more of the new urban land in 35 of the 84 ecoregions located within the CONUS. In 11 of these ecoregions this threshold exceeded in every time interval. When the percent of change, forest to urban, was compared to the percent of forest in each ecoregion, 58 ecoregions had a greater percent of change and, in six of those, change occurred in every time interval. Annual rates of forest to urban land cover change of 0.2% or higher occurred in 12 ecoregions at least once and in one ecoregion in all intervals. There were three ecoregions where the above conditions were met for nearly every time interval. Even though only a small number of the ecoregions were heavily impacted by forest loss to urban development within the CONUS, the ecosystem services provided by undeveloped forest land cover need to be quantified more completely to better inform future regional land management.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Regional differences of urbanization in the conterminous U.S. on upland forest land cover, 1973-2011
Series title Forests
DOI 10.3390/f7070132
Volume 7
Issue 7
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher MDPI
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description Article 132; 20 p.
First page 1
Last page 20
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