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Forest Inventory and Management-Based Visual Preference Models of Southern Pine Stands

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Statistical models explaining students' ratings of photographs of within-stand forest scenes were constructed for 99 forest inventory plots in east Texas pine and oak-pine forest types. Models with parameters that are sensitive to visual preference yet compatible with forest management and timber inventories are presented. The models suggest that the density of sawtimber-sized trees and the proportion of visual penetration are positively associated with scenic beauty. Foliage, twig, and small stem screening, and the density of small-diameter trees are negatively associated with scenic beauty. Results generally concur with other visual preference studies of within-stand forest scenes. Such models and associated parameter estimates can be used to objectively assess within-stand forest scenes and to routinely monitor scenic beauty of southern pine forest resources. Unlike similar scenic beauty studies, the limited amount of downed wood encountered was positively associated with scenic beauty. Also suggested is a decline in perceived scenic beauty during the summer season (May-October) coincident with sampling from northeast to southwest sections of east Texas. For. Sci. 34(4):846-863.

Keywords: Scenic beauty estimation; multiresource forest inventories; regional change; scenic quality; vegetative screening; within-season change

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Department of Recreation and Parks, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-2261

Publication date: December 1, 1988

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