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1 April 2010 Land-use Pressure and a Transition to Forest-cover Loss in the Eastern United States
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Abstract

Contemporary land-use pressures have a significant impact on the extent and condition of forests in the eastern United States, causing a regional-scale decline in forest cover. Earlier in the 20th century, land cover was on a trajectory of forest expansion that followed agricultural abandonment. However, the potential for forest regeneration has slowed, and the extent of regional forest cover has declined by more than 4.0%. Using remote-sensing data, statistical sampling, and change-detection methods, this research shows how land conversion varies spatially and temporally across the East from 1973–2000, and how those changes affect regional land-change dynamics. The analysis shows that agricultural land use has continued to decline, and that this enables forest recovery; however, an important land-cover transition has occurred, from a mode of regional forest-cover gain to one of forest-cover loss caused by timber cutting cycles, urbanization, and other land-use demands.

© 2010 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Mark A. Drummond and Thomas R. Loveland "Land-use Pressure and a Transition to Forest-cover Loss in the Eastern United States," BioScience 60(4), 286-298, (1 April 2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.4.7
Published: 1 April 2010
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