Use of a simple photointerpretation method with free, online imagery to assess landscape fragmentation
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In: Proceedings, 2009 Society of American Foresters national convention, Opportunities in a forested world; 2009 Sept. 30-Oct. 4; Orlando, FL. Bethesda MD: Society of American Foresters. [CD].
Forest fragmentation is a problem in many areas of the United States. As contiguous forest is divided into smaller and smaller patches, ecosystem services, such as support for water infiltration, microclimate stabilization, wildlife habitat, and human recreation activities become more limited. Researchers and land managers are interested in monitoring forest fragmentation. In this paper we describe an efficient photointerpretation method that automates the work of gathering and loading images. A grid of photo plots is optimally created and overlain on the sample area, and land-use composition is determined using publicly available and web-accessible National Aerial Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery. We present the method in the context of a forest fragmentation assessment for Prince George’s County, Maryland, using 2007 NAIP imagery. Methods are described, and include the presentation of a novel, plot-based fragmentation metric. Results indicate that the scale of forest fragmentation in this area, by our measure, is less than 1000 meters, and that our tool can be used efficiently for studies like this.
Lister, Andrew; Lister, Tonya; Doyle, James A. 2009. Use of a simple photointerpretation method with free, online imagery to assess landscape fragmentation