Landscape Ecology

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 467-478

Lacunarity analysis of spatial pattern: A comparison

  • M.R.T. DaleAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

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Lacunarity analysis has been proposed as a general method for the analysis of spatial pattern, in particular for patterns of the dispersion of points. The method is clearly an improvement over the variance:mean ratio approach based on quadrat counts, because it examines dispersion at a range of spatial scales. This paper examines the properties of lacunarity analysis and compares it with other methods of pattern analysis. Lacunarity analysis gives different results for complementary patterns, which may be an advantage depending on circumstances. The method, however, is not precise in determining the scale or the patch size in pattern with known properties. A modification that improves the interpretability of the results of the analysis is introduced but a weakness of this approach is that it does provide clear indications of the characteristics of cases that exhibit more than one scale of pattern. Because different methods react to different features in data, it is recommended that data be analysed by more than one method and the results compared for greater insight into their characteristics.

scale patch pattern analysis transect