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Scale dependence of spatial patterns and cartography on the detection of landscape change: relationships with species’ perception

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This paper analyses how landscape pattern detection changes when different spatial and temporal scales and several levels of detail of the cartography are used to describe a landscape affected by land abandonment in northern Spain. In order to integrate landscape composition and structure at different temporal and spatial scales in the same framework, a multiple correspondence factorial analysis was ran for each typology of landscape units. Annual rates of change and scale dependencies were calculated for each typology from the Euclidean distances in the factorial space. Finally, the potential assessment of habitat utilisation by species with different landscape perception and movement capacity was modelled for the range of typologies.

The amount of variance explained by the factorial analysis decreased with the complexity of the typology. Annual rates of change appeared different according to the time span and the detail of the landscape unit typology used. For all typologies, changes were faster during 1983–95, a period characterised by massive land abandonment. However, when the whole period (1956–95) was considered, annual changes were much lower, showing differences between typologies. As a general trend, the variance of the mean annual change decreased with the size of the analysis units. In response to land abandonment, different scale dependencies were found for different levels of detail of the cartography. Coarser typologies are suitable when analysing highly mobile species. However, species with small movement capacity or with a preference for homogeneous habitats perceive more detail in landscape. In this case, a detailed typology is more appropriate.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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