Land Cover Trends Project

Ecoregion Map
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Project map

map of Ecoregion Summary availability
Ecoregion Summaries
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Land Cover Trends

Land Cover Trends was a research project focused on understanding the rates, trends, causes, and consequences of contemporary U.S. land use and land cover change. The project spanned from 1999 to 2011. Ongoing research is being conducted as part of the Land Change Research Project.

  News and Highlights

Land Cover Status and Trends papers are nearing completion.

Image of Professionl Report

Status and Trends of Land Change in the Western United States 1973-2000 covers 30 ecological regions in the Western United States and is the most detailed and comprehensive assessment of the rates and types of land-use and land-cover change ever produced for the region. This Professional Paper represents the culmination of many years of hard work and represents a significant contribution to our understanding of land change dynamics in the U.S.

Reports covering the Great Plains, Midwest, and Eastern U.S. are currently underway and should follow soon.

Click on the link above or the image of the report cover for more information.

  Recent Publications
  • Soulard, CE, Sleeter, BM, 2012, Late twentieth century land-cover change in the basin and range ecoregions of the United States, Regional Environmental Change DOI 10.1007/s10113-012-0296-3.

  • Auch, R.F., Sayler, K.L., Napton, D.E., Taylor, J.L., and Brooks, M.S., 2011, Ecoregional differences in late-20th-century land-use and land-cover change in the U.S. northern Great Plains, Great Plains Research v. 21 (Fall): 231-243.

  • Drummond, M.A., Loveland T.R., 2010, Land-use pressure and a transition to forest-cover loss in the eastern United States, Bioscience, v.60,4, pp.286-298.

  • Napton, D.E., Auch, R.F., Headley, R., Taylor, J.L., 2010, Land changes and their driving forces in the Southeastern United States, Regional Environmental Change, v.10,1, pp.37-53.

  • Sleeter, B. M., T. Wilson, C. Soulard, and J. Liu, 2010, Estimation of Late 20th Century Landscape change in California, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, DOI 10.1007/s10661-010-1385-8

Field Photo Map

Field Photo Map

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Land Cover Trends field photography collection is a national-scale, ground-reference dataset which initially served as a research tool to aid in Landsat-derived land-use/land-cover (LULC) change analyses and assessments. Between 1999 and 2007, Land Cover Trends scientists collected over 33,000 geographically referenced field photos with associated keywords capturing existing LULC and regional change process taking place. The field photography collection represents the most comprehensive national database of geo-referenced USGS field photography in the United States. In a project funded by the USGS Climate and Land Use Change and Core Science Systems Mission Areas, 13,000 photos distributed across 44 Level III Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ecoregions are currently being disseminated to the public. As the remaining field photographs are geotagged, the online collection will grow to include photos within 40 additional ecoregions.

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