Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version

Fall 11-8-2012


Posada Posada, M. I. (2012) Using Landscape Pattern Metrics to Characterize Ecoregions. Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences. Under the Supervision of Professor James Merchant. Lincoln, Nebraska: November, 2012.

Copyright (c) 2012 Martha Isabel Posada Posada


Ecological regions, or ecoregions, are areas that exhibit “relative homogeneity in ecosystems”. The principal objective of this research was to determine if and how landscape structure (quantified by landscape pattern metrics) may be related to ecoregions defined using Omernik’s approach to ecoregionalization. Nine key landscape pattern metrics (number or LULC classes and the proportion of each class, number of patches, mean patch size and area-weighted fractal dimension, perimeter-area fractal dimension, contagion, mean Euclidean nearest neighbor distance and interspersion and juxtaposition index) where used to asses landscape structure in a sample of 26 Omernik Level III ecoregions located in the central United States. The results indicated that the behavior of most of the metrics (such as Number of Patches, Mean Patch Size, Mean Euclidean Nearest Neighbor, and Contagion) could only be explained when they were considered in context with the other metrics. There were significant correlations among several of the metrics used, reasserting the redundancy of information provided by some of these indices.

Adviser: James Merchant