Investigastors: Marina Alberti (PI), Stefan Coe, Daniele Spirandelli, Yan Jang


We propose that distinct ecological signatures can be identified for urban development patterns, using landscape characteristics relevant to various ecosystem processes. We apply several landscape metrics to characterize the landscape composition and configuration of each development type. We hypothesize that land development types can be discriminated using several landscape metrics including percent land cover (i.e. impervious surface, forest, and grass), mean patch size, contagion, edge-to-interior ratio, and Shannon index. Using discriminant function analysis (DFA), landscape metrics are tested to assess their ability to discriminate between these different types of development. Ecological signatures provide a powerful tool for understanding interactions between human and ecological processes in urbanizing landscapes and for developing strategies to minimize ecological impacts of urban growth.