Remotely sensed data and GIS were used to compare the effects of clear-cutting and road-building on the landscape pattern of the Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming. Landscape patterns were quantified for each of 12 watersheds on a series of four maps that differed only in the degree of clear-cutting and road density. Researchers analyzed several landscape pattern metrics for the landscape as a whole and for the lodgepole pine and spruce/fir cover classes across the four maps to determine the relative effects of clear-cutting and road building on the pattern of each watershed. At both the landscape and cover class scales, clear-cutting and road building resulted in increased fragmentation as represented by a distinct suite of landscape structural changes. Roads appeared to be a more significant agent of change than clear-cuts, and roads that were more evenly distributed across a watershed had a greater effect on landscape pattern than did those that were densely clustered.
A common problem in GIS-intensive analyses is integrating data collected from several different sources. Data was filtered to remove single and small groups of pixels that complicated and slowed down model processing. This processing step probably removed some small patches that may have been important landscape components.
|journal||Landscape Ecology 13 (1998): 149-165|