Measuring urban habitat fragmentation: an example from the Black Country, UK
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AbstractThe processes of urbanisation have left a fragmented mosaic of habitat patches of varying size, shape and character with the result that from location to location the number and quality of contacts between patches varies considerably. Traditional measurements of this habitat fragmentation, and its converse, connectivity, have rarely looked at the landscape as a whole but instead have simplified it to specific landscape subsets, or else have looked at area-to-area relationships through generalising the landscape into homogeneous pixels or grids. In this paper the character of the whole landscape is examined at scales appropriate to the spatial variability of the urban environment. Using a direct measurement of patch-to-patch contact all contacts between all patches are examined and the relationship between all contiguous and connecting habitats is quantified. This is further refined to look at connections between patches of different quality, a measure that highlights the adverse effects of urbanisation as a whole on landscape connections between quality habitats. (SpringerLink)
CitationLandscape Ecology, 16(7): 643-658
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