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Landscape Patterns in a Disturbed Environment

J. R. Krummel, R. H. Gardner, G. Sugihara, R. V. O'Neill and P. R. Coleman
Oikos
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Mar., 1987), pp. 321-324
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3565520
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565520
Page Count: 4
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Landscape Patterns in a Disturbed Environment
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Abstract

Deciduous forest patterns were evaluated, using fractal analysis, in the U. S. Geological Survey 1: 250,000 Natchez Quadrangle, a region that has experienced relatively recent conversion of forest cover to cropland. A perimeter-area method was used to determine the fractal dimension; the results show a different dimension for small compared with large forest patches. This result is probably related to differences in the scale of human versus natural processes that affect this particular forest pattern. By identifying transition zones in the scale at which landscape patterns change this technique shows promise for use in developing hypotheses related to scale-dependent processes and as a simple metric to evaluate changes on the earth's surface using remotely sensed data.

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