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|Title:||Quantifying Landscape Fragmentation|
|Publisher:||Institute of Landscape Ecology Slovak Academy of Sciences|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||The provision of tools for monitoring and especially quantifying the impact of human activities on forest landscapes facilitate the design of efficient and assessable forest resource policies and risk assessment studies. Status and trends of land cover objects can be described by their pattern, connectivity, and fragmentation. While there are many quantitative measures for pattern and connectivity, fragmentation is usually provided as a qualitative description for a specific species living in the landscape under study. Yet, a meaningful understanding and interpretation of landscape dynamics in general requires a generic, reliable and especially quantitative assessment of fragmentation. This presentation will illustrate the concepts of normalized, quantitative fragmentation metrics describing the overall degree as well as the spatial distribution of fragmentation of any land cover type in digital image data. The proposed indices apply the holistic approach of spatial entropy instead of addressing and summarizing the many different aspects of fragmentation individually. Such normalized indices permit not only a concise state assessment on a given site but also the inter-comparison of fragmentation for different sites. In addition, temporal changes can be localized and quantified. The reliable quantitative assessment of fragmentation is a prerequisite for any statistical analysis. Besides highlighting hotspots of changes it permits measuring, and thus evaluating the progress in biodiversity and landscape planning projects. Methods and tools for pattern, connectivity, fragmentation, change analysis and more are summarized in the free software collection GuidosToolbox available at: (http://forest.jrc.ec.europa.eu/download/software/guidos).|
|JRC Directorate:||Sustainable Resources|
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