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Comparison of surface and planimetric landscape metrics for mountainous land cover pattern quantification in Lancang Watershed, China

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Abstract
Landscape pattern structure can be quantified by landscape pattern indices (LPIs). One major drawback of the commonly used LPIs is that the landscape is represented by a planar map, which depicts the projection of a nonflat surface into a 2-dimensional Cartesian space. As a result, ecologically meaningful terrain structures like terrain shape or elevation are not taken into account and valuable information is lost for further analysis. A method to compute LPIs in a surface structure has been developed by Hoechstetter et al, who calculated landscape patch surface area and surface perimeter from digital elevation models. In this paper, Hoechstetter's set of LPIs was used and extended. A parametric t-test was used to assess the differences between the commonly used planimetric metrics and the surface landscape metrics for quantification of a mountain vegetation pattern at 3 levels (patch, category, and landscape) and for natural and anthropogenic categories in the Lancang (Mekong) watershed in China. The results show that the surface-based metrics for area, perimeter, shape, and distance to nearest-neighbor metrics were significantly larger than the same metrics derived by a planimetric approach for patch, category, and landscape levels in 2 different mountainous areas. However, diversity and evenness metrics did not feature significant differences between the surface-based landscape and the landscape represented in the planar maps. When comparing the area metrics for natural and for anthropogenic categories, significantly larger differences between these categories were found when the surface approach was used. The common planimetric method may underestimate the differences between natural and anthropogenic categories on areas and mean patch area in steep mountain areas.
Keywords
planimetric landscape pattern index, Mountain areas, surface landscape pattern index, natural category, anthropogenic category, land cover pattern quantification, SPATIAL-DISTRIBUTION, COMPLEX LANDSCAPES, YUNNAN PROVINCE, DRIVING FORCES, FOREST, VEGETATION, INDEXES, FRAGMENTATION, XISHUANGBANNA, CONSERVATION

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Chicago
Zhang, Zhiming, Frieke Vancoillie, Robert De Wulf, Eva De Clercq, and Xiaokun Ou. 2012. “Comparison of Surface and Planimetric Landscape Metrics for Mountainous Land Cover Pattern Quantification in Lancang Watershed, China.” Mountain Research and Development 32 (2): 213–225.
APA
Zhang, Zhiming, Vancoillie, F., De Wulf, R., De Clercq, E., & Ou, X. (2012). Comparison of surface and planimetric landscape metrics for mountainous land cover pattern quantification in Lancang Watershed, China. MOUNTAIN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, 32(2), 213–225.
Vancouver
1.
Zhang Z, Vancoillie F, De Wulf R, De Clercq E, Ou X. Comparison of surface and planimetric landscape metrics for mountainous land cover pattern quantification in Lancang Watershed, China. MOUNTAIN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. 2012;32(2):213–25.
MLA
Zhang, Zhiming, Frieke Vancoillie, Robert De Wulf, et al. “Comparison of Surface and Planimetric Landscape Metrics for Mountainous Land Cover Pattern Quantification in Lancang Watershed, China.” MOUNTAIN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 32.2 (2012): 213–225. Print.
@article{1220133,
  abstract     = {Landscape pattern structure can be quantified by landscape pattern indices (LPIs). One major drawback of the commonly used LPIs is that the landscape is represented by a planar map, which depicts the projection of a nonflat surface into a 2-dimensional Cartesian space. As a result, ecologically meaningful terrain structures like terrain shape or elevation are not taken into account and valuable information is lost for further analysis. A method to compute LPIs in a surface structure has been developed by Hoechstetter et al, who calculated landscape patch surface area and surface perimeter from digital elevation models. In this paper, Hoechstetter's set of LPIs was used and extended. A parametric t-test was used to assess the differences between the commonly used planimetric metrics and the surface landscape metrics for quantification of a mountain vegetation pattern at 3 levels (patch, category, and landscape) and for natural and anthropogenic categories in the Lancang (Mekong) watershed in China. The results show that the surface-based metrics for area, perimeter, shape, and distance to nearest-neighbor metrics were significantly larger than the same metrics derived by a planimetric approach for patch, category, and landscape levels in 2 different mountainous areas. However, diversity and evenness metrics did not feature significant differences between the surface-based landscape and the landscape represented in the planar maps. When comparing the area metrics for natural and for anthropogenic categories, significantly larger differences between these categories were found when the surface approach was used. The common planimetric method may underestimate the differences between natural and anthropogenic categories on areas and mean patch area in steep mountain areas.},
  author       = {Zhang, Zhiming and Vancoillie, Frieke and De Wulf, Robert and De Clercq, Eva and Ou, Xiaokun},
  issn         = {0276-4741},
  journal      = {MOUNTAIN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT},
  keyword      = {planimetric landscape pattern index,Mountain areas,surface landscape pattern index,natural category,anthropogenic category,land cover pattern quantification,SPATIAL-DISTRIBUTION,COMPLEX LANDSCAPES,YUNNAN PROVINCE,DRIVING FORCES,FOREST,VEGETATION,INDEXES,FRAGMENTATION,XISHUANGBANNA,CONSERVATION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {213--225},
  title        = {Comparison of surface and planimetric landscape metrics for mountainous land cover pattern quantification in Lancang Watershed, China},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-10-00119.1},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2012},
}

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