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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Disturbance and Landscape Change: Residential Development and Landscape Structure in the Pikes Peak Region, Colorado, Usa

Authors
item Nasseth, D - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Peters, Debra

Submitted to: US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1999
Publication Date: July 29, 1999
Citation: NASSETH, D.L., PETERS, D.C. DISTURBANCE AND LANDSCAPE CHANGE: RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AND LANDSCAPE STRUCTURE IN THE PIKES PEAK REGION, COLORADO, USA. 5TH WORLD CONGRESS, US-INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY. 1999. V. II(L-Z). ABSTRACT P. 67.

Technical Abstract: Disturbances interact with biotic and abiotic landscape elements at multiple scales to drive changes in landscape structure. In turn, landscape structure affects the kinds, frequencies, intensities, and extent of disturbances actuated in the system. We analyzed the interactions of residential development as a disturbance with landscape structure to identify patch characteristics sensitive to disturbance, spatial and temporal trends in residential development, and the corresponding dynamics in landscape structural metrics. We sought to develop a model that would enable managers to use landscape structural change as an indicator of disturbances that could reverberate through multiple scales of ecological organization. Our approach was to use GIS linked with FRAGSTATS to detect trends in both residential development and landscape structural metrics. We further analyzed the potential impact of these trends on habitats and biodiversity. We found that patch desirability for development often coincides with patch ecological sensitivity. Development causes increased fragmentation and decreased connectivity of existing patches, with increased edge and clustering of both existing patch types and developed patches. Our results indicate that residential development changes landscape structure, associated wildlife habitats, and biodiversity. This information is critical for regional planning and management processes aimed at coexistence of natural and cultural components.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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