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Entropy 2014, 16(4), 1842-1859; doi:10.3390/e16041842

An Entropy-Based Contagion Index and Its Sampling Properties for Landscape Analysis

USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Asheville, NC 28806, USA
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Received: 6 July 2012 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 19 March 2014 / Published: 26 March 2014
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Abstract

Studies of spatial patterns of landscapes are useful to quantify human impact, predict wildlife effects, or describe various landscape features. A robust landscape index should quantify two components of landscape diversity: composition and configuration. One category of landscape index is the contagion index. Some landscape ecologists promote the use of relative contagion indices. It is demonstrated, using simulated landscapes, that relativized contagion indices are mathematically untenable. A new entropy contagion index (Γ) is developed. Distributional properties of Γ^ are derived. It is shown to be asymptotically unbiased, consistent, and asymptotically normally distributed. A variance formula for Γ^ is derived using the delta method. As an application, the pattern and changes in forest types across four soil-geologic landform strata were analyzed on the 80,000 ha Savannah River Site in South Carolina, USA. One-way analysis of variance was used for hypothesis testing of contagion among strata. The differences in contagion across the strata provide insight to managers to meet structural objectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: concentration; delta method; expected value; forest types; geometric distribution; hypothesis testing; simulated landscapes concentration; delta method; expected value; forest types; geometric distribution; hypothesis testing; simulated landscapes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Parresol, B.R.; Edwards, L.A. An Entropy-Based Contagion Index and Its Sampling Properties for Landscape Analysis. Entropy 2014, 16, 1842-1859.

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