A landscape of shifting-mosaic steady state in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Po Ching Wang, James C. Finley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


It is generally perceived that landscape patterns or textures in a given protected area are spatially stationary. The findings of this study suggest that this common perception is only partially correct. Over the course of 52 years, equilibrium in landscape shifting was detected using digital data for the Lassen Volcanic National Park (USA). Vertical aerial photographs taken of the park in 1941 were geo-referenced with the digital orthophoto quarter quadrangle (DOQQ) images of the same area from 1993 to identify landscape compositions and to measure change. Spatial analysis was used to observe pattern changes over time. The results suggested that landscape development maintained equilibrium while patches were in various stages of a successional sequence. The total area of each landscape component held steady, although over time patches throughout the landscape changed-a shifting-mosaic steady state (SMSS). These findings reflect the limitations of contemporary environmental conservation theory. They also suggest the importance of considering landscape change in policies that currently govern park planning and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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