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New Harvard Forest Publication: Conservation & Harvesting In Massachusetts

June 1, 2006
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Forest harvesting is an important, ongoing disturbance that affects the composition, structure, and ecological function of the majority of the world's forests. However, few studies have examined the interaction between land-use conversion and harvesting. Harvard Forest researchers utilized a unique, spatially explicit database of all cutting events and land-cover conversions for Massachusetts over the past 20 years to characterize the interactions between land-use conversion and harvesting, and their relationship to physical, social, and economic factors. Harvesting activity ceases near the far outer suburbs of major metropolitan areas, as well as along the coast. There is a strong negative correlation between the proportion of forest lost to land-use conversion and the proportion of forest harvested. Harvest intensity, in contrast, appears related to ownership type, with state-owned lands having more intensive harvests. The results suggest that current forest management regimes are determined largely by the economic influence of nearby urban centers. 

McDonald, R.I.,Motzkin, G., Bank, M., Kittredge, D., Burk, J., and Foster, D.R.. 2005. Forest harvesting and land-use conversion over two decades in Massachusetts. Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 227, Issues 1-2 , 15 May 2006, Pages 31-41.

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