Changes in the Extent of North Carolina Barrier Island Maritime Forests 1988‐2011: An Assessment of Past Efforts at Protection
Maritime forests on coastal barrier islands, which provide both ecological and economic benefits to the communities living in and around them, are some of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. In this study, we conducted a thorough assessment of all extant maritime forests on barrier islands in North Carolina using a geographic information system (GIS) and field verification techniques. We then compared the results with a previous assessment from 1988 to determine changes in the extent of barrier island maritime forest cover in the state. Approximately 36% of the 1988 forest cover had been lost over the 23-year period, and more than 98% of the total loss occurred on privately held land. We reviewed past policy approaches aimed to protect barrier island maritime forests in North Carolina and examined possible approaches to protect the remaining tracts.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2013-05-01
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