Publication Details

Reference Category Journals
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Title (Primary) The extent of edge effects in fragmented landscapes: Insights from satellite measurements of tree cover
Author Dantas de Paula, M.; Groeneveld, J.; Huth, A.
Journal Ecological Indicators
Year 2016
Department OESA; iDiv
Volume 69
Page From 196
Page To 204
Language englisch
Keywords Edge effects; Remote sensing; LANDSAT Tree Cover; Fragmented forests
UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract Due to deforestation, intact tropical forest areas are increasingly transformed into a mixture of remaining forest patches and human modified areas. These forest fragments suffer from edge effects, which cause changes in ecological and ecosystem processes, undermining habitat quality and the offer of ecosystem services. Even though detailed and long term studies were developed on the topic of edge effects at local scale, understanding edge effect characteristics in fragmented forests on larger scales and finding indicators for its impact is crucial for predicting habitat loss and developing management options. Here we evaluate the spatial and temporal dimensions of edge effects in large areas using remote sensing. First we executed a neighborhood pixel analysis in 11 LANDSAT Tree Cover (LTC) scenes (180 × 185 km each, 8 in the tropics and 3 in temperate forested areas) using tree cover as an indicator of habitat quality and in relation to edge distance. Second, we executed a temporal analysis of LTC in a smaller area in the Brazilian Amazon forest where one larger forest fragment (25,890 ha) became completely fragmented in 5 years. Our results show that for all 11 scenes pixel neighborhood variation of LTC is much higher in the vicinity of forest edges, becoming lower towards the forest interior. This analysis suggests a maximum distance for edge effects and can indicate the location of unaffected core areas. However, LTC patterns in relation to fragment edge distance vary according to the analyzed region, and maximum edge distance may differ according to local conditions. Our temporal analysis illustrates the change in tree cover patterns after 5 years of fragmentation, becoming on average lower close to the edge (between 50 and 100 m). Although it is still unclear which are the main causes of LTC edge variability within and between regions, LANDSAT Tree Cover could be used as an accessible and efficient discriminator of edge and interior forest habitats in fragmented landscapes, and become invaluable for deriving qualitative spatial and temporal information of ecological and ecosystem processes.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Dantas de Paula, M., Groeneveld, J., Huth, A. (2016):
The extent of edge effects in fragmented landscapes: Insights from satellite measurements of tree cover
Ecol. Indic. 69 , 196 - 204