Relationships between major ownerships, forest aboveground biomass distributions, and landscape dynamics in the New England region of USA.



This study utilizes remote sensing derived forest aboveground biomass (AGB) estimates and ownership information obtained from the Protected Areas Database (PAD), combining landscape analyses and GIS techniques to demonstrate how different ownerships (public, regulated private, and other private) relate to the spatial distribution of AGB in New England states of the USA. "Regulated private" lands were dominated by lands in Maine covered by a Land Use Regulatory Commission. The AGB means between all pairs of the identified ownership categories were significantly different (P< 0.05). Mean AGB observed in public lands (156 Mg/ha) was 43% higher than that in regulated private lands (109 Mg/ha), or 30% higher than that of private lands as a whole. Seventyseven percent of the regional forests (or about 9,300 km 2) with AGB gt;200 Mg/ha were located outside the area designated in the PAD and concentrated in western MA, southern VT, southwestern NH, and northwestern CT. While relatively unfragmented and high-AGB forests (>200 Mg/ha) accounted for about 8% of total forested land, they were unevenly proportioned among the three major ownership groups across the region: 19.6% of the public land, 0.8% of the regulated private land, and 11.0% of the other private land. Mean disturbance rates (in absolute value) between 1992 and 2001 were 16, 66, and 19 percent, respectively, on public, regulated private, and other private land. This indicates that management practices from different ownerships have a strong impact on dynamic changes of landscape structures and AGB distributions. Our results may provide insight information for policy makers on issues regarding forest carbon management, conservation biology, and biodiversity studies at regional level.


Natural Resources and the Environment

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Environmental Management



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