Implications of Landscape Change for Conservation and Management: A Case Study from Central New Jersey, USA

Authors: James Myers*, APUS
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Natural Resources
Keywords: Land use and land cover change, conservation, landscape history
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Understanding past landscape change is important for present-day conservation and environmental management. Past landscapes are a significant contributor to current environmental conditions, and they may constrain, enable, or otherwise influence the success of various environmental management plans. In this study, I explore the past landscapes of Mercer Meadows, a 800 plus acre park in central New Jersey, through the lens of land use/land cover change. Mercer Meadows is currently managed for breeding and wintering grassland birds, including a number of species listed as threatened or endangered in the state of New Jersey. The park has a history of various uses, including agriculture and as an overseas telephone transmission facility. Using a variety of sources, including historical aerial photos and contemporary land use/land cover data, I construct a land use/land cover history of this park spanning over 100 years. Land use/land cover GIS layers for discrete time periods are analyzed for patterns of change, and key areas of stability and flux are identified. The conservation and management implications of this history are considered in light of present management goals.

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