Temporal change in forest fragmentation at multiple scales
Previous studies of temporal changes in fragmentation have focused almost exclusively on patch and edge statistics, which might not detect changes in the spatial scale at which forest occurs in or dominates the landscape. We used temporal land-cover data for the Chesapeake Bay region and the state of New Jersey to compare patch-based and area–density scaling measures of fragmentation for detecting changes in the spatial scale of forest that may result from forest loss. For the patch-based analysis, we examined changes in the cumulative distribution of patch sizes. For area–density scaling, we used moving windows to examine changes in dominant forest. We defined dominant forest as a forest parcel (pixel) surrounded by a neighborhood in which forest occupied the majority of pixels. We used >50% and >60% as thresholds to define majority.