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Measuring Scale-Dependent Landscape Structure with Rao’s Quadratic Diversity

Department of Environmental Biology, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Rome 00185, Italy
EnviX-Lab, Department Bioscience and Territory (BiT), University of Molise, Cda. Fonte Lappone, Pesche (IS) 86090, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2(2), 405-412;
Received: 5 March 2013 / Revised: 3 May 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 14 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Monitoring and Modelling of Environmental Change)
PDF [465 KB, uploaded 14 May 2013]


In this paper, we apply a special application of the Rao quadratic diversity for multiscale analysis of land use changes in a mixed agricultural-forest landscape in Central Italy. The proposed approach is similar to a block-size analysis of compositional diversity for which a given landscape is overlaid with a series of square grids composed of increasingly larger boxes. The combination of land cover classes in each box is recorded, and the Rao quadratic diversity is computed for the frequency distribution of the land cover classes at each box-size. Plotting compositional diversity versus box-size provides information on the scale-dependent pattern of the landscape. Since the proposed methodology is not severely influenced by the co-registration accuracy of the underlying data sets, it may prove to be reasonably adequate for analyzing historical data sets of varying resolution and quality, like aerial photographs or categorical maps. View Full-Text
Keywords: compositional diversity; Isernia; land cover change; landscape complexity; scaling functions; spatial process compositional diversity; Isernia; land cover change; landscape complexity; scaling functions; spatial process

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Ricotta, C.; Carranza, M.L. Measuring Scale-Dependent Landscape Structure with Rao’s Quadratic Diversity. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2, 405-412.

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