Land use change analysis for two counties in Massachusetts, United States

2004 2004

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Habitat loss is one of the most serious threats to biodiversity today. A host of natural and human activities, including fire, agriculture, and resource extraction can have profound impacts on the transformation of native habitats. In the Northeast, habitat loss occurs primarily from land use changes from small to mid-scale residential development. Essential to maintaining biological diversity in the Northeast is the protection of important conservation areas from destructive land-use change, especially residential development. In order to maintain biodiversity, communities must set aside vulnerable open space and areas of native habitats. To aid in this it is necessary to predict the vulnerability of areas of conservation interest to development. Through an analysis of land use change, a predictive model can be developed to be used as a tool in the selection and management of conservation areas.

An historical land use change analysis was conducted for two counties in Massachusetts, USA. Through logistic regression modeling the variables that best predicted land use change were determined. The most influential land use change variable was found to be the initial land use of the site. The density of buildings in the surrounding area was also found to be a significant predictor. A sensitivity analysis of the logistic regressions showed that these two variables were robust predictors of land use change.

Transition analysis was used to further understand the processes of land use change for the two counties. It was found that the transition systems for both areas was not stable over time, which indicates that the mechanisms influencing land use change over time. Transition sensitivity analysis indicates that relatively few of the transitions were sensitive to perbutations of the system.

This work will help to better understand land use change in New England. With better understanding of land use change, planners and land managers can make better informed decisions about land acquisition, protection and management to help conserve biodiversity throughout the region.

Indexing (details)

Urban planning;
Area planning & development;
0478: Forestry
0999: Urban planning
0999: Area planning & development
0366: Geography
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Biological sciences; Conservation; Land use; Massachusetts; Urban-rural fringe
Land use change analysis for two counties in Massachusetts, United States
Fahl, Christine T.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 65/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780496132263, 0496132261
Finn, John T.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.