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Landscape and Urban Planning 66 (2004) 107123 Spatial patterns in land cover of exurbanizing watersheds
 

Summary: Landscape and Urban Planning 66 (2004) 107123
Spatial patterns in land cover of exurbanizing watersheds
in southeastern Michigan
Rebecca L. Cifaldi, J. David Allan, J.D. Duh, Daniel G. Brown
School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1115, USA
Received 27 August 2002; received in revised form 4 March 2003; accepted 25 April 2003
Abstract
Recent research into landscape composition and configuration, or pattern, seeks to identify a core set of metrics and
determine whether these describe unique gradients or dimensions of pattern across diverse settings. Prior work generally has
examined relatively large units, and it is uncertain whether this approach will prove useful with small (50100 km2) landscape
units such as the sub-catchment of headwater streams. We estimated 25 pattern variables for the 109 sub-catchment of the
Huron and Raisin river basins in southeastern Michigan, which are similar in terrain but represent, respectively, urbanizing
and agricultural conditions. Three principal components analyses (PCA) performed on sub-watersheds within the combined
area, and for each basin separately, identified five axes that explained 80% of the variation in landscape pattern. The first
and strongest component described a fragmentation gradient ranging from landscapes dominated by a single land cover
type to more diverse, patchy landscapes, and was similar in all three analyses. Variables quantifying variation in patch size
were related to the second component in each analysis. Components three through five quantified different gradients in land
cover pattern among the analyses, suggesting that gradients of variation in land cover spatial patterns quantified by later
components are unique to each landscape. Pattern metrics were correlated with proportion of land in a land cover class,
especially for proportion agricultural and proportion urban land, which exhibited the broadest land cover gradients in the

  

Source: Allan, David - School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology