A variety of metrics can be calculated from a map portraying the spatially explicit layout of habitat areas. These include things like the number of patches, patch sizes, patch perimeter-to-area ratios, fractal dimension, contagion, and indices of patch shape. Such indices are readily calculated with software packages such as FRAGSTATS and reflect the popularity of analyzing GIS data. However, simulated analyses of the ability of these indices to predict connectivity suggest that they are inconsistent when the characteristics of a landscape are varied. Empirical work is needed to establish relationship between actual connectivity and structural connectivity measured using spatial pattern indices.
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