Special Issue "Advances and Applications in Measuring, Representing, and Comparing Spatial Landscape Patterns"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Tarmo K Remmel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel. +1-416-736-2100 ext 22496
Interests: pattern; remote sensing; wildfire

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue solicits papers focusing on recent advancements of the measurement, representation, and comparison of spatial landscape patterns. Additionally of interest are philosophical, technical and conceptual advancements, or their applications, which yield new and improved means for working with spatial pattern data. All forms of application domains where spatial landscape patterns are analyzed and interpreted are welcome, particularly for sustainable land management, conservation, inventory, or change assessments. Whether patterns are planar representations (2D), incorporate a vertical element (3D), or involve a time-series (4D), the clear link to spatial pattern analysis should be at the core of the paper. Elements of appropriate scale selection or scalability are also desirable. For any submission, a tangible link with implementation should be made, such that highly theoretical work is well-grounded. Links to code or software sources can also be made to facilitate implementation by interested readers.

Prof. Dr. Tarmo K Remmel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Landscape pattern
  • Representation
  • Scaling
  • Dimensionality
  • Comparison
  • Interpretation
  • Dynamics

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Modeling Spatial Patterns of Humus Forms in Montane and Subalpine Forests: Implications of Local Variability for Upscaling
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010048 - 21 Dec 2018
Abstract
Humus forms are a distinctive morphological indicator of soil organic matter decomposition. The spatial distribution of humus forms depends on environmental factors such as topography, climate and vegetation. In montane and subalpine forests, environmental influences show a high spatial heterogeneity, which is reflected [...] Read more.
Humus forms are a distinctive morphological indicator of soil organic matter decomposition. The spatial distribution of humus forms depends on environmental factors such as topography, climate and vegetation. In montane and subalpine forests, environmental influences show a high spatial heterogeneity, which is reflected by a high spatial variability of humus forms. This study aims at examining spatial patterns of humus forms and their dependence on the spatial scale in a high mountain forest environment (Val di Sole/Val di Rabbi, Trentino, Italian Alps). On the basis of the distributions of environmental covariates across the study area, we described humus forms at the local scale (six sampling sites), slope scale (60 sampling sites) and landscape scale (30 additional sampling sites). The local variability of humus forms was analyzed with regard to the ground cover type. At the slope and landscape scale, spatial patterns of humus forms were modeled applying random forests and ordinary kriging of the model residuals. The results indicate that the occurrence of the humus form classes Mull, Mullmoder, Moder, Amphi and Eroded Moder generally depends on the topographical position. Local-scale patterns are mostly related to micro-topography (local accumulation and erosion sites) and ground cover, whereas slope-scale patterns are mainly connected with slope exposure and elevation. Patterns at the landscape scale show a rather irregular distribution, as spatial models at this scale do not account for local to slope-scale variations of humus forms. Moreover, models at the slope scale perform distinctly better than at the landscape scale. In conclusion, the results of this study highlight that landscape-scale predictions of humus forms should be accompanied by local- and slope-scale studies in order to enhance the general understanding of humus form patterns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Forest Protection Strategies: A Comparison of Land-Use Systems to Preventing Forest Loss in Tanzania
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124476 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Understanding the effects of forest management strategies is especially important to avoid unregulated natural resource extraction that leads to ecosystem degradation. In addition to the loss of crucial forest services, inefficiencies at converting these natural resources into economic gain for people ultimately exacerbates [...] Read more.
Understanding the effects of forest management strategies is especially important to avoid unregulated natural resource extraction that leads to ecosystem degradation. In addition to the loss of crucial forest services, inefficiencies at converting these natural resources into economic gain for people ultimately exacerbates poverty. Therefore, it is important to know which conservation strategies have proven to be effective in preventing ecosystem degradation and thus be encouraged in future management plans. Here, we used a high-resolution remotely sensed dataset spanning 15 years to study forest cover dynamics across various protected areas in Tanzania. Our findings highlight particular management approaches more effective in preventing forest cover loss and promote forest cover gain, and provide valuable information for conservation efforts. Results show that National Parks have the least forest cover loss, whereas multiple-use Game Controlled Areas have the highest rates of forest loss. In fact, results suggest that these multiple use areas tend to lose more forest cover than areas with no protection or management status at all. These findings suggest the need for more effective strategies for enforcing the existing policies to ensure that socio-economic benefits to local communities are maximized and national interests are sustained. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Incremental and Philosophically Different Approach to Measuring Raster Patch Porosity
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3413; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103413 - 25 Sep 2018
Abstract
A new method for measuring the porosity of individual 2D raster patches in a GIS for characterizing the combined complexity of a shape’s edge in conjunction with its internal perforations is developed. The method is centered on comparing the number of cellular edge–edge [...] Read more.
A new method for measuring the porosity of individual 2D raster patches in a GIS for characterizing the combined complexity of a shape’s edge in conjunction with its internal perforations is developed. The method is centered on comparing the number of cellular edge–edge joins relative to the theoretical maximum number of similar joins possible given a set number of cells comprising a landscape patch. As this porosity (Φ) increases, the patch (or shape) can be viewed as deviating from a maximally compact form, comprising higher edge complexity and internal heterogeneity (inclusion of perforations). The approach is useful for characterizing shapes for which a simple perimeter- or area-based metric misses the internal complexity and where the porosity of the patch may provide insight into spatial processes leading to the development of the landscape fabric. I present theoretical results to illustrate the mechanics of the approach and a small case study of boreal wildfire residual vegetation patches in Ontario, where real resulting wildfire process-driven landscape patches are assessed for their porosity at five spatial resolutions. The results indicate that naturally occurring and unsuppressed boreal wildfires in the study area typically produce residual vegetation patches with an average porosity of 17.6%, although this value varies slightly with the spatial resolution of the data representation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Impervious Surface on the Spatial Distribution of Urban Waterlogging Risk Spots at Multiple Scales in Guangzhou, South China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051589 - 16 May 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
An impervious surface is considered one of main factors affecting urban waterlogging. Previous studies found that spatial pattern (composition and configuration) of impervious surfaces affected urban waterlogging. However, their relative importance remains unknown, and the scale-effect of the spatial pattern on urban waterlogging [...] Read more.
An impervious surface is considered one of main factors affecting urban waterlogging. Previous studies found that spatial pattern (composition and configuration) of impervious surfaces affected urban waterlogging. However, their relative importance remains unknown, and the scale-effect of the spatial pattern on urban waterlogging has been ignored. To move forward, our research studied the relationship between spatial patterns on the impervious surface and its subcategories (building and pavement) on urban waterlogging risk spots using Pearson correlation, partial redundancy analysis and performed at three grid scales (1 km × 1 km, 3 km × 3 km, 5 km × 5 km) and the catchment scale based on different spatial resolution land cover maps (2 m, 10 m and 30 m). We identified positively-correlated metrics with urban waterlogging risk spots, such as the composition of impervious surface (i.e., total impervious surface, building, pavement) and the aggregation metric of the total impervious surface at most scales, as well as two negatively correlated metrics (i.e., proximity metric of building, fragmentation metric of total impervious surface). Furthermore, the total variance of urban waterlogging risk spots explained by the spatial pattern of the total impervious surface and its subcategories increased with studied grid and catchment scales while decreasing from a fine to a coarse resolution. The relative contribution of the impervious surface composition and configuration to the variation of urban waterlogging risk spots varied across scales and among impervious surface types. The composition contributed more than the configuration did for the total impervious surface at both grid and catchment scales. Similar to total impervious surface, the composition of buildings was more important than its configuration was at all the grid scales, while the configuration of buildings was more important at the catchment scale. Contrary to the total impervious surface, the configuration of pavement at both the grid and catchment scales mattered more than their compositions did. Furthermore, the composition of the building was more important than that of pavement, but its configuration mattered less. Our study could provide a multi-scale landscape perspective with detailed suggestions for controlling the area of impervious surface and optimizing its spatial configuration in urban waterlogging risk mitigation and urban planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forest-Cover Increase Does Not Trigger Forest-Fragmentation Decrease: Case Study from the Polish Carpathians
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051472 - 08 May 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Understanding the causes and consequences of forest-fragmentation changes is critical for preserving various ecosystem services and to maintain biodiversity levels. We used long-term (1860s–2010s) and large-scale data on historical forest cover in the Polish Carpathians to identify the trajectories of forest fragmentation. Past [...] Read more.
Understanding the causes and consequences of forest-fragmentation changes is critical for preserving various ecosystem services and to maintain biodiversity levels. We used long-term (1860s–2010s) and large-scale data on historical forest cover in the Polish Carpathians to identify the trajectories of forest fragmentation. Past forest cover was reconstructed for the 1860s, 1930s, 1970s and 2010s using historical maps and the contemporary national database of topographic objects. We analyzed forest-cover changes in 127 randomly selected circular test areas. Forest fragmentation was quantified with GuidosToolbox software using measures based on a landscape hypsometric curve (LHC). Despite a general increase in forest cover, forest fragmentation showed divergent trajectories: a decrease between the 1860s and 1930s (in 57% of test areas), and an increase between the 1930s and 1970s and between the 1970s and 2010s (in 58% and 72% of test areas, respectively). Although deforestation typically involves the increasing fragmentation of forest habitats, we found that forest expansion may not necessarily lead to more homogenous forested landscape, due to complex land-ownership and land-use legacy patterns. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for policy makers to tune policies in such a way as to maintain the desired fragmentation of forest habitats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Zoning Regulations along Fault Zone Areas on Land Development and Property Values after the 921 Chi-Chi Earthquake in Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041175 - 13 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Earthquakes are widely recognized as unpredictable and infrequent disasters that result in serious impacts on human settlements. Land use planning is one non-structural measure used to eliminate disaster risk by steering future development away from the existing built environment and enforcing particular structural [...] Read more.
Earthquakes are widely recognized as unpredictable and infrequent disasters that result in serious impacts on human settlements. Land use planning is one non-structural measure used to eliminate disaster risk by steering future development away from the existing built environment and enforcing particular structural engineering measures according to the disaster risk. However, arguments have arisen about applying land use planning to earthquake risk areas, as this serves as a type of disaster risk information disclosure that might impact the willingness to develop land or property value. Therefore, this study uses the spatial autocorrelation coefficient to examine the impact of land use planning on both land use and property transactions in the Chelungpu fault zone area (15 m from each side of the fault line) in Taiwan. The overall impacts with and without zoning regulation in the fault zone area are explored. The results demonstrate that parcels that changed to building use in the earlier time period (1995–2008) are located distant from those maintaining the same building use, whereas, later, building use (2008–2014) is located on or nearby the fault zone area. In addition, the most recently constructed buildings are located in or close to the fault zone area and have a relatively higher property price. The legal zoning regulation along the fault zone for building use requires lower height and less intensive building, which might help mitigate the potential impact of future earthquakes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Landscape Patterns of Arid Valleys in China, Based on Grain Size Effect
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122263 - 13 Dec 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Landscape metrics are useful tools in investigating spatial structure and in describing the heterogeneity of landscapes, but are sensitive to grain size. Thus, it is necessary to determine the appropriate grain size before researching landscape patterns. However, there have been few large-scale investigations [...] Read more.
Landscape metrics are useful tools in investigating spatial structure and in describing the heterogeneity of landscapes, but are sensitive to grain size. Thus, it is necessary to determine the appropriate grain size before researching landscape patterns. However, there have been few large-scale investigations in high-precision research about the effect of grain size on landscape patterns, especially in arid valleys in China. Thus, we selected three representative sample areas according to the basic characteristics of arid valleys, and we chose 22 grain sizes from 15 to 450 m to calculate twelve landscape metrics at the landscape level and six landscape metrics at the class level to analyze the most appropriate grain size for the arid valleys. All basins in the study area were converted to an appropriate-sized grid to analyze the landscape patterns. Our results showed that the effect of grain size on landscape metrics can be categorized as: no law, increasing, decreasing, or no change. The majority of the fitted landscape index curves were good, with high R2 values. The most appropriate grain size at both levels was 75 m. The landscape pattern of arid valleys was scale-dependent. At the landscape level, arid valley landscape patterns changed from northwest to southeast due to topography and hydrothermal conditions. While the value of aggregation for different size classes was high, the other metrics showed significant differences due to area and degree of human activity at the class level. Full article
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