Indices of landscape pattern

R. V. O'Neill, J. R. Krummel, R. H. Gardner, G. Sugihara, B. Jackson, D. L. DeAngelis, B. T. Milne, M. G. Turner, B. Zygmunt, S. W. Christensen, V. H. Dale, R. L. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1157 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1988


  • contagion
  • dominance
  • fractal
  • index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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