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Go to:Geostatistics

Viewing:Landscape Ecology

Go to:Photo Interpreted Maps

Viewing:Remote Sensing

Go to:Species Importance Maps


Forest Inventory & Analysis Program
11 Campus Blvd.
Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3294

(610)557-4250 FAX
(610)557-4132 TTY/TDD

 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

GIS / Spatial Statistics

Landscape Ecology

With recent advances in GIS and remote sensing technology, we have been able to pursue studies in landscape ecology.  For example, we are currently involved in a study in the Baltimore, MD area where we are looking at changes in forest composition over the last 50 years as they relate to changes in landscape pattern.  The below figure represents an area near Baltimore which has undergone a great deal of change since 1949.  Each different color in the bottom  three photos represents a different land use type.  We can quantify these changes and examine their relationship with changes in forest composition at the FIA plot at the center of the photos.

Photo Landuse and Patch

Other work we have done includes a fragmentation photointerpretation studies.  Photointerpretation involves overlaying a grid of points on 1:40,000 aerial photography.  Each of these points is photointerpreted, and certain characteristics of the forest below the point, as well parameters such as the distance to and type of nearest developed land use, are recorded.

Photointerpreted Fragmentation Indicators

We are also interested in characterizing landscapes using classified satellite images.  These procedures allow us to automate patch analysis over very large areas, and look at regional trends in forest use and fragmentation.  The below image shows 2 portions of Connecticut, and associated landscape metrics.  The trick is to define the relationship between these metrics and biological processes.

Landscape metrics