Landscape ecology deals with the patterning of ecosystems in space. Methods are needed to quantify aspects of spatial pattern that can be correlated with ecological processes. The present paper develops three indices of pattern derived from information theory and fractal geometry. Using digitized maps, the indices are calculated for 94 quadrangles covering most of the eastern United States. The indices are shown to be reasonably independent of each other and to capture major features of landscape pattern. One of the indices, the fractal dimension, is shown to be correlated with the degree of human manipulation of the landscape.
Keywordsindex dominance contagion fractal
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Allen, T.F.H., O'Neill, R.V. and Hoekstra, T.W. 1987. Interlevel relations in ecological research and management: some working principles from hierarchy theory. J. Appl. Syst. Anal. 14: 63–79.Google Scholar
- Burrough, P.A. 1983. Multiscale sources of spatial variation in soil. The application of fractal concepts to nested levels of soil variation. J. Soil Sci. 34: 577–597.Google Scholar
- Fegeas, R.G., Claire, R.W., Guptill, S.C., Anderson, K.E. and Hallam, C.A. 1983. Land Use and Land Cover Digital Data. Geological Survey Circular 895-E, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C. 21 pp.Google Scholar
- Klopatek, J.M., Krummel, J.R., Mankin, J.B. and O'Neill, R.V. 1983. A theoretical approach to regional energy conflicts. J. Env. Managem. 16: 1–15.Google Scholar
- Krummel, J.R., Gardner, R.H., Sugihara, G., O'Neill, R.V. and Coleman, P.R. 1987. Landscape pattern in a disturbed environment. Oikos 48: 321–324.Google Scholar
- Krummel, J.R., Gilmore, C.C. and O'Neill, R.V. 1984. Locating vegetation at-risk to air pollution: an exploration of a regional approach. J. Env. Managem. 18: 279–290.Google Scholar
- Lovejoy, S. 1982. Area-perimeter relation for rain and cloud areas. Science 216: 185–187.Google Scholar
- Mandelbrot, B. 1983. The Fractal Geometry of Nature. W.H. Freeman and Co., New York, NY. 460 pp.Google Scholar
- O'Neill, R.V., DeAngelis, D.L., Waide, J.B. and Allen, T.F.H. 1986. A Hierarchical Concept of Ecosystems. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 253 pp.Google Scholar
- Phipps, M. 1981. Entropy and community pattern analysis. J. Theor. Biol. 93: 253–273.Google Scholar
- Pielou, B.C. 1975. Ecological Diversity. Wiley-Intersciences, New York, NY. 165 pp.Google Scholar
- Shannon, C.E. and Weaver, W. 1962. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL. 125 pp.Google Scholar