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Open AccessTechnical Note

FracL: A Tool for Characterizing the Fractality of Landscape Gradients from a New Perspective

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State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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Center for Geodata and Analysis, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
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US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA
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College of Earth Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(10), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi8100466
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 25 September 2019 / Accepted: 20 October 2019 / Published: 22 October 2019
The past several years have witnessed much progress in landscape ecology and fractal analysis. In landscape ecology, the gradient model of landscape patterns (i.e., landscape gradient) has emerged as a new operating paradigm, where most landscape metrics do not apply because they were developed for the patch mosaic model. In the fractal analysis, a new definition of fractal has been proposed, and various new fractal metrics have been developed. This technical note aims to provide an intersection of these two lines of advance, which will further present an opportunity to advance geo-informatics by considering the latest progress in both landscape ecology and fractal analysis. We first present an overview of the new definition of fractal and all the fractal metrics developed under this new definition. Since the chief obstacle to geographers and landscape ecologists in applying these metrics is the lack of readily accessible methods for their easy computation, we then develop an integrated tool to compute them on landscape gradients. The developed tool facilitates the computation of these new fractal metrics. A case study was carried out with real-life landscape gradients, namely a digital terrain model. These new fractal metrics and the developed tool can be expected to facilitate the fractal characterization of the patterns of gradient landscapes and the understanding of landscape dynamics from a new perspective. View Full-Text
Keywords: fractal analysis; fractality; landscape pattern; landscape gradient fractal analysis; fractality; landscape pattern; landscape gradient
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Gao, P.; Cushman, S.A.; Liu, G.; Ye, S.; Shen, S.; Cheng, C. FracL: A Tool for Characterizing the Fractality of Landscape Gradients from a New Perspective. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 466.

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