• change;
  • land cover;
  • land use;
  • pine barrens;
  • trends


Information on the rates, characteristics, and drivers of land-use change are vital for addressing the impacts and feedbacks of change on environmental processes. The U.S. Geological Survey's Land Cover Trends project is conducting a consistent, national analysis of the rates, causes, and consequences of land-use change. In this article we assess change in the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens ecoregion from 1973 to 2000. Urban lands expanded by more than 900 square kilometers during the study period. Land-use change in the ecoregion followed the tenets of “Forest Transition Theory” (ftt) prior to the study period, but forest lands experienced consistent declines from 1973 to 2000. Increasing government regulation during the study period, consistent with concept of the “Quiet Revolution” (qr), mitigated forest loss during the latter half of the study period. Generalized theories, including ftt and the qr, are valuable, but local and regional determinants of comparative land rents ultimately drive land-use change at this scale.