This is an index that is quite difficult to calculate. Especially in a human disturbance environment, we can utilize such parameters to better understand the rate of energy, material, and organism exchange between two neighboring patches or between a patch and the surrounding matrix.
For instance, between a woodlot and an open cropland the contrast between the two typologies is very high. Along a successional gradient this could be quite soft allowing a transaction from the two typologies.
How does one measure this contrast? Generally the height of the vegetation and/or the density (stem x m2, etc.) are employed.
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