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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)