Landscape Ecology

, Volume 23, Issue 8, pp 879–890 | Cite as

Connectivity measures: a review

  • Pavel KindlmannEmail author
  • Francoise Burel


One of the central problems in contemporary ecology and conservation biology is the drastic change of landscapes induced by anthropogenic activities, resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation. For many wild living species, local extinctions of fragmented populations are common and recolonization is critical for regional survival. Successful recolonization depends on the availability of dispersing individuals and the degree of landscape connectivity. The obvious implications of landscape connectivity for conservation biology have led to a proliferation of connectivity measures. However, general relationships between landscape connectivity and landscape structure are lacking, and so are the relationships between different connectivity metrics. Consequently, there is a need to develop landscape metrics that more accurately characterize the landscape with an emphasis on the underlying processes. Here we review various definitions of landscape connectivity, explain their mathematical connotations, and make some unifying conclusions and suggestions for future research.


Conservation biology Habitat fragmentation Landscape connectivity Measures Species extinction 



This research was supported by the Grant no. A6087301 of the GA AV CR and No. LC06073 of the MSMT.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology AS CRCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.CNRS, UMR ECOBIOUniversité de Rennes 1Rennes CedexFrance

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