Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 805–816 | Cite as

A comparative study of urban fragmentation patterns in small and mid-sized cities of Idaho

  • Christopher FeltEmail author
  • Michail Fragkias
  • Danelle Larson
  • Haifeng Liao
  • Kathleen A. Lohse
  • Donna Lybecker


Urbanization has a massive impact on ecological function and impedes the provisioning of environmental services. The interaction between urbanization and the environment has been researched extensively. However, the existing research focused on the urbanization characteristics of large metropolitan areas. In this paper, we investigate the urban fragmentation patterns of small and mid-sized cities in Idaho, USA. To capture the urban morphology for each site within the study we use both concentric ring and transect analysis as well as several spatial/landscape metrics. Our results show that the characteristics of urbanization in small and mid-sized cities (and those in second-tier regions that attract relatively little scholarly attention) are consistent with growth phase theory of urbanization, urbanization along a gradient, and urbanization patterns of metropolises.


Spatial metrics Spatial pattern analysis Urbanization Idaho Urban growth 



This research was supported by the National Science Foundation award number IIA – 1301792 from the National Science Foundation Idaho Environmental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research Program. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Science Foundation. We would also like to thank Colden Baxter, Sue Parsons, Li Huang, and Stephan Joy who offered guidance and insight during the progression of this research.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesIdaho State UniversityPocatelloUSA
  4. 4.Department of GeographyUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA
  5. 5.Department of Political ScienceIdaho State UniversityPocatelloUSA

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