Landscape Ecology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 201–211

Lacunarity indices as measures of landscape texture


  • Roy E. Plotnick
    • Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
  • Robert H. Gardner
    • Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Robert V. O'Neill
    • Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National Laboratory

DOI: 10.1007/BF00125351

Cite this article as:
Plotnick, R.E., Gardner, R.H. & O'Neill, R.V. Landscape Ecol (1993) 8: 201. doi:10.1007/BF00125351


Lacunarity analysis is a multi-scaled method of determining the texture associated with patterns of spatial dispersion (i.e., habitat types or species locations) for one-, two-, and three-dimensional data. Lacunarity provides a parsimonious analysis of the overall fraction of a map or transect covered by the attribute of interest, the degree of contagion, the presence of self-similarity, the presence and scale of randomness, and the existence of hierarchical structure. For self-similar patterns, it can be used to determine the fractal dimension. The method is easily implemented on the computer and provides readily interpretable graphic results. Differences in pattern can be detected even among very sparsely occupied maps.


lacunaritylandscape texturespatial analysisfractals
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© SPB Academic Publishing bv 1993