USDA Forest Service

North Central Research Station


North Central Research Station
1992 Folwell Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

(651) 649-5000

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Landscape Change Integrated Program
- How is the Landscape Changing?

Developing a Region-wide Picture of Change

[Photo]:a construction crew building a house.Human-influenced changes in the landscape can vary widely. Some are sudden and localized, such as the removal of timber from a woodlot, while others like global climate change can be imperceptibly slow and widespread. Identifying the key patterns of landscape change in the Midwest region is thus an essential first step in understanding what potential impacts such changes can have and ultimately what to do about them.

To help answer questions about how the landscape is changing, we have begun to identify important physical, biological, and social patterns in the landscape at the regional or subregional scale—ecological land types, forest cover, land use, population densities, and other factors.

Using a diverse set of data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis program, the U.S. Census Bureau, satellite imagery, and other sources, we are putting together a region-wide picture of landscape patterns. To enrich this base of data, we have also conducted expert and media analyses to help identify the types of issues resonating with stakeholders at specific places within the region.

As the following research highlights demonstrate, we now have a solid understanding of the location, magnitude, and rate of change and their manifestations in the landscape.

The Changing Midwest: An Atlas of Landscape Change
Patterns of Housing Density Change Across the Midwest Region, 1940-2000
Land Cover Change in the Midwest Region
Dynamics of Ozone in the Western Great Lakes Region



USDA Forest Service - North Central Research Station
Last Modified: Friday, 16 January 2004

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