Forest Fragmentation index using GRASS GIS

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Forest fragmentation index map

Worldwide, forests have been changed dramatically by humans, particularly during the last decades. The loss of old forest stands causes threads to biodiversity and life-important ecosystem services. Loss of forests does not necessarily mean a total clearing, but it starts with ‘forest degradation’, which is in many cases caused by fragmentation processes.

In order to measure the degree of global forest fragmentation, an approach was developed by Riitters et al. (2000). This approach can easily be implemented on any scale using a selection of tools provided by GRASS GIS, one of the most powerful Open Source GIS platforms. To perform a complete forest fragmentation calculation in one step, these tools were put together into one shell-script, that you can download from the GRASS-addons page:

Update: Thanks to Ecostudies, the script was further developed and can now also be used in GRASS 7.