Landscape Ecology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 157–171

A leakiness index for assessing landscape function using remote sensing

  • John A. Ludwig
  • Robert W. Eager
  • Gary N. Bastin
  • Vanessa H. Chewings
  • Adam C. Liedloff
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1016579010499

Cite this article as:
Ludwig, J.A., Eager, R.W., Bastin, G.N. et al. Landscape Ecology (2002) 17: 157. doi:10.1023/A:1016579010499

Abstract

The cover, number, size, shape, spatial arrangement and orientation of vegetation patches are attributes that have been used to indicate how well landscapes function to retain, not ‘leak’, vital system resources such as rainwater and soil. We derived and tested a directional leakiness index (DLI) for this resource retention function. We used simulated landscape maps where resource flows over map surfaces were directional and where landscape patch attributes were known. Although DLI was most strongly related to patch cover, it also logically related to patch number, size, shape, arrangement and orientation. If the direction of resource flow is multi-directional, a variant of DLI, the multi-directional leakiness index (MDLI) can be used. The utility of DLI and MDLI was demonstrated by applying these indices to three Australian savanna landscapes differing in their remotely sensed vegetation patch attributes. These leakiness indices clearly positioned these three landscapes along a function-dysfunction continuum, where dysfunctional landscapes are leaky (poorly retain resources).

Landscape metricsPatch coverPatch orientationPatch sizeSpatial patternTropical savannaVegetation patchiness

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Ludwig
    • 1
  • Robert W. Eager
    • 2
  • Gary N. Bastin
    • 3
  • Vanessa H. Chewings
    • 3
  • Adam C. Liedloff
    • 2
  1. 1.Tropical Savannas Management Cooperative Research Centre and CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsAthertonAustralia
  2. 2.Tropical Savannas Management Cooperative Research Centre and CSIRO Sustainable EcosystemsDarwinAustralia
  3. 3.Alice SpringsAustralia