Analyses of landscape structure by means of
calculations of landscape ecology indexes.
The def ned method of calculations of landscape
ecology indexes within landscape structure analysis
was performed for LU/LC classes in identifi ed
categories, spatial and compositional relations of
landscape elements – patches, corridors, matrixes.
The analyses were done in ArcGIS environment
using standard tools and tools that were specifi cally
developed for the analysis of landscape structure.
These are Vector Based Landscape Analysis
Extension for ArcGIS (V-LATE) and Patch Analyst.
Calculated coeffi cients (indexes) can be classifi ed
according to the type of evaluated characteristic
into categories of indexes: of shape, size, diversity,
proximity, edges and statistical indicators.
Nearest neighbour analysis (index) – belongs among
distance analyses that are used to determine the
proximity of objects of a given category. In this
case it is the proximity of objects of the same LU/
LC category determined by the nearest neighbour
method. Map representation of the calculated values
of nearest neighbour analysis provides an overview
of the distribution of particular LU/LC categories
and of the mode (type) of their distribution in the
Area analysis (index) belongs among the basic
spatial analyses. Using the patch area analysis it is
possible to describe landscape graininess on a scale
from very fi ne (patch area less than 0.05 ha), fi ne
(patch area 0.05–0.9 ha), medium (patch area 0.9–35
ha) to coarse graininess > 35 ha). Besides, patch area
is a very important variable infl uencing diversity
and land cover.
Shape analysis (index) belongs among further metric
analyses of landscape space describing landscape
changes over time in the best way. These indicators
are calculated for the particular categories: patch
number, average patch shape, patch perimeter to
area ratio, average fractal dimension. Shape indexes
are signifi cant from the aspect of dissection or, on
the contrary, of geometrization of spatial structures.
The higher the values of shape index, the more
complicated the patch shape while their borders
get longer. On the other hand, the lower the value
of this index, the simpler the shape that can be
described by basic geometric shapes, expressing
the simplifi cation of particular shapes of patches.
Intervals of the patch shape index: 1.00–1.12 –
almost circular shape, 1.12–1.16 – almost square
shape, 1.16–1.90 – almost rectangular shape, > 1.90
distinctly elongated and irregular shape. The shape
characteristics are also important from the aspect of
edge eff ect, i.e. mutual interaction of two adjacent
areas with diff erent mode of use (e.g. arable land and
PGL, arable land and forest, etc.).
Diversity analysis (index) is aimed at the evaluation of
diversity and heterogeneity of analysed patches. In
the particular categories the computation generates
the total number of patches in each category, their
total area and the index Proportion – ratio of areas
of a given category to total area (or the percentage
proportion of a given category in relation to the
whole studied territory). Determination of these
indexes is important for the evaluation of landscape
heterogeneity and contrasts.