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Understanding recurrent land use processes and long-term transitions in the dynamic south-central United States, c. 1800 to 2006

Land Use Policy

By:
ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , ORCID iD , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.07.061

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Abstract

Forests have historically been under significant land use pressures that cause periods of degradation, clearance, and recovery. To understand these changes, studies are needed that place trends in a historical landscape context and also examine recent dynamics. Here, we use historical investigation (c. 1800) and an examination of land use and land cover change between 1973 and 2006 to establish a baseline trajectory of the forested system of the south-central United States (US) plains. The study culminates in a highly detailed accounting of the processes and causes of land change between 2001 and 2006. In the study region, the forest transitioned from early low-intensity use, to clearance for farming and timber, to widespread recovery from degradation beginning in the 1930s. By 1970, the region was transitioning from recovered woodlands to an intensive regime of recurrent timber harvest and replanting. The recurring cycle inherent in intensive silviculture has been the main cause of land change for the past several decades, accounting for more than 95% of the total extent of change between 2001 and 2006. The transition to forest recovery in the south-central US was an important historical occurrence. However, the dynamic post-transition landscape needs to be better understood.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Understanding recurrent land use processes and long-term transitions in the dynamic south-central United States, c. 1800 to 2006
Series title:
Land Use Policy
DOI:
10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.07.061
Volume:
68
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Contributing office(s):
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description:
10 p.
First page:
345
Last page:
354
Country:
United States