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HomeIAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservationvol. 4 no. 1 (2012)

Fractal Dimension and Patchiness in Hinabian-Lawigan Watershed Southern Leyte, Philippine

Jay-ar O. Ragub | Ricardo T. Bagarinao

 

Abstract:

Landscape metrics for analyzing landscape structures is fast developing topics in landscape ecology. This study examines fractal dimension and patchiness of the Hinabian-Lawigan watershed (Southern Leyte, Philippines), which is a habitat to different critically endangered species in the province. Three indices were used (i.e. total patch number, TPN; mean patch size, MPS; and mean patch fractal dimension, MPFD). The analysis was facilitated through the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) and patch analyst extension of ArcGIS. Land use-land cover classification system was used to identify the different patches. Results indicate that the watershed consists of patches of annual cropland, barren land, built-up areas, closed forests, pastureland, and shrubland. Closed forest patches have the largest total area (3,727.98 has) but have the highest TPN (i.e.1,700) and MPS (2.19 has). Their computed MPFD is greater than 1, which means that they are highly fragmented, and needed to be connected. Built-up areas are not prevalent in the watershed but may become a future concern if unmanaged. Of greatest concern is the presence of agricultural production areas (TPN value of 828 and MPFD of 1.52). Encroachment of agricultural production activities to forest areas may lead to further forest fragmentation. Its regular disturbance should be managed.