Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA) of forest cover map

The Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA) of forest cover map can be used to answer the question: What is the structural element that a forest patch is part of?

LegendThe MSPA map is colored to indicate the following forest structural elements:

Core - Interior area of forest patch excluding forest perimeter (green)
Edge - Outside perimeter (black)
Perforation - Inside perimeter (blue)
Bridge - Connected at both ends to different core patches (red)
Loop - Connected at both ends to the same core patch (yellow)
Branch - Connected at one end to edge, perforation, bridge, or loop (orange)
Islet - Disconnected and too small to contain core (brown)
Background - Not forest on the NLCD 2001 land cover map (gray)
No Data - Not in continental United States (white)

Compare the forest structural elements in these regional areas selected from the MSPA map:

Continental US

Aerial view of sprawl - Photo by Larry Korhnak, www.interfacesouth.orgWashington, DC

Asheville, NC

Atlanta, GA

Milwaukee, WI

Newtown Square, PA

Albany, CA

Albuquerque, NM

Fort Collins, CO  

Missoula, MT  

Ogden, UT

Prineville, OR


logosForest pattern classification by European Commission, DG-Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

Note: Differences between the NLCD-MSPA product and Google Earth images are due to different spatial resolutions, date of maps, geographic projections, and definitions of forest. Land cover and forest pattern changes since 2001 are not represented in the 2001 NLCD-MSPA product.

Photo by Larry Korhnak,

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