Spatial and temporal patterns of plantation forests in the United States since the
1930s: An annual and gridded data set for regional Earth system modeling
Guangsheng Chen1, Shufen Pan1, Daniel J. Hayes2, and Hanqin Tian11International Center for Climate and Global Change Research and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA 2School of Forest Resources, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA
Received: 16 Mar 2017 – Accepted for review: 04 Apr 2017 – Discussion started: 05 Apr 2017
Abstract. Plantation forest area in the conterminous United States (CONUS) ranked second among the world’s nations in the land area apportioned to forest plantation management. As compared to the naturally-regenerated forests, plantation forests demonstrate significant differences in biophysical characteristics, and biogeochemical and hydrological cycles as a result of more intensive management practices. Inventory data have been reported for multiple time periods at plot, state and regional scales across the CONUS, but there lacks the requisite annual and spatially-explicit plantation data set over a long-term period for analysis of the role of plantation management at regional or national scale. Through synthesizing multiple inventory data sources, this study developed methods to spatialize the time series plantation forest and tree species distribution data for the CONUS over the 1928–2012 time period. According to this new data set, plantation forest area increased from near zero in the 1930s to 268.27 thousand km2 by 2012, accounting for 8.65 % of the total forest land area in the CONUS. Regionally, the South contained the highest proportion of plantation forests, accounting for about 19.34 % of total forest land area in 2012. This time series and gridded data set developed here can be readily applied in regional Earth system modeling frameworks for assessing the impacts of plantation management practices on forest productivity, carbon and nitrogen stocks, and greenhouse gas (e.g., CO2, CH4 and N2O) and water fluxes at regional or national scales. The gridded plantation distribution and tree species maps, the state-level tree planting area and plantation distribution area during 1928–2012 are available from doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.873558.
Chen, G., Pan, S., Hayes, D. J., and Tian, H.: Spatial and temporal patterns of plantation forests in the United States since the
1930s: An annual and gridded data set for regional Earth system modeling, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., doi:10.5194/essd-2017-22, in review, 2017.
Guangsheng Chen et al.
Guangsheng Chen et al.
Spatial and temporal patterns of plantation forests in the United States since the 1930s: An annual and gridded data set for regional Earth system modeling