Spatial graph theory for cross-scale connectivity analysis.
Fall, Andrew*,1, 1 Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Victoria, B.C., Canada
ABSTRACT- Gaining insight into the complex spatial patterns of habitat connectivity requires a cross-scale assessment of the configuration of focal habitat within the matrix of intervening cover types. An increasing number of ecological studies have developed analytical methods to address landscape connectivity quantitatively, and it has become clear that connectivity cannot be adequately captured using single-value measures. Keitt et al. (1997) made a parallel with mathematical graphs by associating habitat patches with graph nodes, and movement corridors among habitat patches with graph links. We describe a unifying formal theory for applying graph theoretic and computational geometric methods to spatial patch analysis for assessing habitat connectivity. Our framework extends graph theory and integrates tessellation and other geomatic approaches, and encompasses previous graph-based methods for connectivity analysis. Use of spatial graph theory for cross-scale analysis will be illustrated with case studies that address a variety of problems, including identification of Spotted Owl management corridors and degree of affinity of Woodland Caribou to connectivity. For method comparison in the special session, we will also assess orbatid mite habitat patterns.
Key words: connectivity, graph theory, corridors, cross-scale
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