AIBS BioScience Press Releases | Eastern US Forests Resume Decline

I found a reference to this article on the Yale Environment 360 blog. If you haven’t heard of them add them to your feed reader for a while…You might discover a new source of news you can use.

After increasing during much of the 20th century, forest cover in the eastern United States in recent decades has resumed its previous decline, according to an exhaustive new analysis published in the April 2010 issue of BioScience. The work is described in an article by Mark A. Drummond and Thomas R. Loveland of the US Geological Survey (USGS).

During the 19th century and earlier, forests were cleared for agriculture on a large scale, but from around 1920 onward, the eastern United States experienced a net increase in forest cover as fields were abandoned and trees regrew. Experts have been uncertain whether this trend has continued. Drummond and Loveland examined changes in the eastern part of the country from 1973 to 2000 as part of the USGS’s Land Cover Trends project, using remotely sensed imagery as well as statistical data, field notes, and ground photographs. Over this time they found a 4.1 percent decline in total forest area, a “substantial and sustained net loss” equivalent to more than 3.7 million hectares. The researchers describe considerable regional variation, with net loss being particularly marked in the southeastern plains.

So the take away is we are still losing forests up and down these mountains we love. Read the full article (PDF) I know I will be…

via AIBS BioScience Press Releases | Eastern US Forests Resume Decline.

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