Research Triangle Park, NC--The size, shape, and arrangement of fields, forests, wetlands, and human populations, and the ways these and other features interact and change across landscapes, have a multitude of implications for resource sustainability, ecosystem health, habitat connectivity, and other societal values.

A special issue of the journal Landscape Ecology was organized by scientists at the USDA Forest Service and North Carolina State University brings focus to the science of landscape pattern analysis.

Appearing three decades after the first scientific papers on landscape patterns were published, the special issue includes 14 articles by scientists tackling current problems in the field, introducing new approaches, and suggesting promising research directions and applications.

The September 2019 special issue, Describing and analyzing landscape patterns - where are we now, and where are we going?, is now available online at

For example, a study by Southern Research Station scientists Bjorn-Gustaf Brooks and Danny Lee applies a new metric for rapidly scanning large areas using remote sensing to detect patterns that suggest important forms of disturbance in natural landscapes.

In contrast, a simulation study by Robert Corry of the University of Guelph focuses on the patterns created by agricultural crop rotations in southern Ontario.

The text above is a summary, you can read full article here.