GRAPH THEORETIC CONNECTIVITY ANALYSIS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION OF THE UNITED STATES

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2005-12-13

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Connectivity is critical for persistence of species in the face of anthropogenic habitat destruction and fragmentation. Graph theory is a relatively new method for quantifying connectivity that has tremendous potential, but landscape graph applications to date are limited to specific conservation situations with static proportions of habitat (P). This study provides a uniform evaluation of graph metrics across wide gradients in P in both random neutral landscapes and real, forested landscapes from the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Such an analysis provides a background that will be valuable for future interpretation of graph metrics. Results indicate that graph metrics have characteristic forms when plotted against P that can be exploited for conservation management.

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