Mediterranean drylands: The effect of grain size and domain of scale on landscape metrics Academic Article uri icon


  • This study first sought to isolate a select group of landscape metrics particularly well-suited for describing dryland Mediterranean landscapes in Jordan. We examined the response of 50 landscape metrics to a large range of imagery grain sizes. Most of the metrics exhibited an expected behavior, similar to what has been previously reported in literature such as (a) a predictable (linear or power law) response to changing grain size, and (b) an unpredictable (staircase-like or erratic) response to changing grain size. Some metrics, however, exhibited a domain of scale effect, in particular the core area metrics. Using correlation analysis, the original 50 metrics were placed into 19 groups such that all metrics within a group were strongly correlated with each other, and were represented by a single representative metric. Using these representative metrics in the context of principal components analysis, we then found that six factors explained 95.35% of the total variation found in the landscape pattern. The highest loadings for these six factors, in order, were the number of patches (NP), mean proximity index (PROX MN), largest patch index (LPI), patch cohesion index (COHESION), total core area (TCA), and the proximity index coefficient of variation (PROX CV). It was concluded that east Mediterranean landscapes with a long history of anthropogenic-driven change showed a domain of scale for core area metrics. We also recommend that the majority of the pattern in dry Mediterranean landscapes, particularly those in Jordan, can be described with six metrics. We suggest that our procedure for landscape metric selection can be utilized in other regions of study as well. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Ecological Indicators

author list (cited authors)

  • Alhamad, M. N., Alrababah, M. A., Feagin, R. A., & Gharaibeh, A

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Alhamad, Mohammad N||Alrababah, Mohammad A||Feagin, Rusty A||Gharaibeh, Anne

publication date

  • March 2011