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Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 22;9(1):12228. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48277-z.

Dynamics of Forest Fragmentation and Connectivity Using Particle and Fractal Analysis.

Author information

1
Research Center for Integrated Analysis and Territorial Management, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, 030018, Romania.
2
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, 04318, Germany.
3
GSRC, Computational Medicine Lab, Medical University of Graz, Graz, 8010, Austria.
4
Laboratory of Cancer Cell Biology, Institute for Oncology and Radiology, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia.
5
Centre for Research in Complex Systems, Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia.
6
School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia.
7
Macquarie University, Faculty of Medicine & Health Science, Department of Clinical Medicine, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
8
Department of Geography, Tourism and Territorial Planning, Faculty of Geography, Tourism and Sport, University of Oradea, University Street, no. 1, Oradea, Romania.
9
Centre for Research on Settlements and Urbanism, Faculty of Geography, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, 400006, Romania.
10
National Institute for Economic Research Costin C. Kiriţescu, Romanian Academy, 050711, Bucharest, Romania.
11
Faculty of Geography, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, 400006, Romania.
12
Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, 010041, Romania.
13
Research Institute of the University of Bucharest, Bucharest, 050107, Romania.
14
Research Center for Integrated Analysis and Territorial Management, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, 030018, Romania. peptenatu@yahoo.fr.

Abstract

The ever decreasing area of forests has lead to environmental and economical challenges and has brought with it a renewed interest in developing methodologies that quantify the extent of deforestation and reforestation. In this study we analyzed the deforested areas of the Apuseni Mountains, which has been under economic pressure in recent years and resulted in widespread deforestation as a means of income. Deforested surface dynamics modeling was based on images contained in the Global Forest Database, provided by the Department of Geographical Sciences at Maryland University between 2000 and 2014. The results of the image particle analysis and modelling were based on Total Area (ha), Count of patches and Average Size whereas deforested area distribution was based on the Local Connected Fractal Dimension, Fractal Fragmentation Index and Tug-of-War Lacunarity as indicators of forest fragmentation or heterogeneity. The major findings of the study indicated a reduction of the tree cover area by 3.8%, an increase in fragmentation of 17.7% and an increase in heterogeneity by 29%, while fractal connectivity decreased only by 0.1%. The fractal and particle analysis showed a clustering of forest loss areas with an average increase from 1.1 to 3.0 ha per loss site per year. In conclusion, the fractal and particle analysis provide a relevant methodological framework to further our understanding of the spatial effects of economic pressure on forestry.

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