Assessment of sustainability in intensively managed forested landscapes: A case study in eastern Texas

João C. Azevedo, X. Ben Wu, Michael G. Messina, Richard F. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We developed a methodology to analyze the effects of management practices on landscape structure and function to be used in the assessment of sustainability in intensively managed forest landscapes. It is based on modeling and simulation of landscape and stand structure as well as biological and physical processes. The methodology includes a landscape structure model and several forest stand-level models to simulate the dynamics of landscapes and stands as a function of management rules. It also includes habitat models to evaluate landscape quality and spatial characteristics of vertebrate habitat, and a hydrologic model to simulate water and sediment yield at the subarea and watershed levels. The application of this methodology to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program in eastern Texas indicated that this is an effective way to evaluate effects of sustainable forestry programs on landscape structure and processes. During simulation years, the habitat of pine warbler, the species used as an example to illustrate the methodology, became apparently fragmented under the SFI scenario. This fragmentation was caused mainly by narrow, forested streamside management zones dissecting pine stands and should have little negative influence on the pine warbler habitat. Sediment yield at the landscape level decreased by the implementation of SFI measures, particularly by the reduction of channel degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-333
Number of pages13
JournalForest Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modeling


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