Landscape pattern analysis
DOI link for Landscape pattern analysis
Landscape pattern analysis book
Landscape metrics have been developed to help us make sense of the inherent complexity of real landscapes. Simplifying that complexity through quantification of various aspects of landscape heterogeneity aims to assist the detection, interpretation, and quantification of landscape changes or the linking of ecological processes with spatial patterns. This chapter reviews the motivation for developing landscape metrics and summarizes the diversity of approaches by categorizing them into families. The importance and impacts of varying scale on the application, interpretation, and applicability of landscape metrics are reviewed. Alternatives to the dominant approaches are introduced, with indications of when such alternatives might be particularly appropriate and what the challenges are to their implementation. We then discuss the possibilities and the challenges in using landscape metrics to compare landscapes. Dominant applications for using these metrics are briefly reviewed to demonstrate their utility and identify trends, and we conclude with observations on current and possible future trends in the development and application of landscape metrics.