Landscape patterns are closely related to ecological processes. Different spatial scales and research methods may lead to different results. Therefore, it is crucial to choose suitable research methods when studying different landscape patterns and ecological processes. In the present study, the methods of source-sink landscape theory were applied to the interactions between urban landscape characteristics and commuter traffic behavior around the arterial roads in Xiamen Island. After classification of land use types using remote sensing images from the IKONOS satellite and ArcGIS software (ESRI, Redlands, CA, USA), the landscape patterns of areas surrounding arterial roads (within 1 km) were evaluated using source-sink landscape influence (SLI
). The results showed that Xiamen Island’s urban expressway had the highest SLI
value (0.191), followed by the state highways (0.067), the provincial highways (0.030), and the county roads (0.025). When considering all road types, the correlation between a road’s SLI
value and its commuter traffic flow was 0.684. This result was explained by three observations: (1) The contribution of the core area of each landscape pattern to traffic flow was positively correlated with the traffic flow. (2) Areas surrounding the urban expressway and the state highways had lower values for Shannon’s diversity index, indicating that these areas had a lower degree of landscape fragmentation. (3) The landscape patterns surrounding the urban expressway and the state highways were more concentrated and complex than those around other road types. The application of source-sink landscape pattern theory allows for researchers to integrate the relationships between landscape patterns surrounding roads and commuter traffic flow on those roads and to analyze the reasons for these relationships.
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