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Parsimony in landscape metrics: Strength, universality, and consistency

Cushman, Samuel A.; McGarigal, Kevin; Neel, Maile C. 2008. Parsimony in landscape metrics: Strength, universality, and consistency. Ecological Indicators. 8: 691-703.

doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2007.12.002

Ecologists can be overwhelmed by the number of metrics available to quantify landscape structure. Clarification of interrelationships and redundancy is needed to guide metric selection and interpretation for the purpose of landscape monitoring. In this study we identified independent components of class- and landscape-level structure in multiple landscapes in each of three large and geographically disjunct study areas. We used FRAGSTATS and principal components analysis (PCA) to identify independent components of landscape structure, and cluster analysis to group the components. We then calculated the universality, strength, and consistency of the identified landscape structure components. At the class-level we identified 24 independent configuration components. Seven of these components were nearly universal and consistent in interpreted meaning. At the landscape- level there were 17 independent structure components. Eight of these components were universal and consistent. These results indicate that there are consistent combinations of metrics that universally describe the major attributes of landscape structure at the class- and landscape-levels.

Keywords: landscape structure, landscape pattern, landscape monitoring, ecological indicators, FRAGSTATS, landscape metrics

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Parsimony in landscape metrics: Strength, universality, and consistency
Electronic Publish Date: March 14, 2012
Last Update:
March 14, 2012

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