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A scalar analysis of landscape connectivity

C. P. Brooks, Dept of Biology, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3280, Coker Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA (


Landscape connectivity is critical to the maintenance of spatially-structured populations and consists of both a structural component, which describes the shape, size and location of landscape features; and a biological component, which consists of both the response of individuals to landscape features, and the patterns of gene flow that result from those individual responses. Traditional studies of landscape connectivity have attempted to discern individual behavioral responses to landscape features, but this methodology is intractable for many species. This paper is an attempt to relate the components of landscape connectivity through the explicit treatment of their spatial and temporal scales. Traditional measures of structural and biological components of connectivity are reviewed and more recently developed methods for the analysis of scale for each are introduced. I then present a framework for the comparison of scalar phenomena based on Watt's unit pattern, describe the potential outcomes of the comparison and discuss the implications of each. Several testable hypotheses emerge from the analysis that may serve as a useful framework for the investigation of landscape connectivity in the future.