A preliminary assessment of Montreal process indicators of forest fragmentation for the United States
Abstract. As part of the U.S. 2003 National Report on Sustainable Forests, four metrics of forest fragmentation – patch size, edge amount, inter-patch distance, and patch contrast – were measured within 137 744 non-overlapping 5625 ha analysis units on land-cover maps derived from satellite imagery for the 48 conterminous States. The perimeter of a typical forest patch is about 100 m from the perimeter of its nearest neighbor, except when there is not much forest, in which case that distance is 200 to 300 m. A typical analysis unit has from 10 to 40% as much forest edge as it could possibly have, given the amount of forest present. Most analysis units contain a large number of patches that are less than one hectare in size, and about 10% contain one or more 2000 to 5000 ha patches. Forest often defines the background landscape, and patch contrast is generally either very high or very low in eastern regions and intermediate in western regions. Many research needs were identified by this experimental analysis of available data and metrics.