Mature and old-growth forests contribute to large-scale conservation targets in the conterminous United States

Mature and old-growth forests (MOG) of the conterminous United States collectively support exceptional levels of biodiversity but have declined substantially from logging and development. National-scale proposals to protect 30 and 50% of all lands and waters are useful in assessing MOG conservation targets given the precarious status of these forests. We present the first coast to coast spatially explicit MOG assessment based on three structural development measures—canopy height, canopy cover, and above-ground living biomass to assess relative maturity.

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