Landscape Ecological Analysis

pp 280-303

RULE: Map Generation and a Spatial Analysis Program

  • Robert H. Gardner

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The use of random maps as neutral landscape models was first introduced more than 10 years ago (Gardner et al. 1987). The concept is to investigate the effect of random processes on landscape patterns and use this information as a null hypothesis testing actual landscapes. Although the concept of a neutral model is quite simple, the issues have sometimes been confused in the literature (see With and King 1997 for a more complete discussion). Gardner and O'Neill (1991) have offered a prescription to avoid this confusion: (1) make a clear statement of the problem, (2) define the simplest model that allows each variable to be examined, (3) compare prediction with available data and observations, and (4) establish an objective measure of the adequacy of the results. Presented here are a set of simple methods for generating neutral landscape models that have been extensively used over the last 10 years.