Comparison of characteristics among infrequent catastrophic disturbances in the Northern Appalachian Ecoregion (adapted from Foster et al. (1998) by Anderson and Bernstein (2003)).
Where should reserves be located, and how many reserves
should there be?
During 2004, forest managers from the EEA agencies worked to identify potential matrix reserve sites that would represent the diversity of forest ecosystems occurring within the relatively un-fragmented forest landscapes remaining in Massachusetts. The EEA effort is based on a fundamental assumption that matrix reserves should occur in relatively un-fragmented forest landscapes where they can be buffered from impacts of human development by working forestlands outside the reserve.
The EEA agencies worked with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to evaluate relatively un-fragmented forest blocks that had previously been identified in Massachusetts by TNC. A geographical information systems (GIS) analysis was conducted to identify the portion of each matrix block that contained the largest patches of interior forest habitat and that contained the lowest density of roads and transmission lines. This analysis identified 23 sites representing eight different types of forest ecosystems. Each of the 23 sites was ranked according to 11 ecological criteria that were weighted by an expert panel established by EEA (Figs. 1 and 2). Eight of the highest ranked sites were selected to represent ecoregions and ecological land units (ELUs) occurring in Massachusetts (ELUs capture diversity of elevation, geology, and landform).
Biodiversity Value: Forest Reserve Evaluation Criteria
Large Reserve Expert Choice Rankings
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Policy, Land and Forest