2003 Volume 9 Issue 2 Pages 73-83
A vegetation similarity index (VSI), developed to describe the similarity of nearby vegetation conditions to each forest patch (i), is presented as a new method for visualizing landscape heterogeneity. All forested patches within a certain distance (M) of each patch i are examined, and a value is developed to describe the similarity. These values are then weighted by an inverse distance method, and aggregated to produce a single value for each patch i. The distance M examined can vary, and visual representations can be subsequently developed to assist biologists, planners, and policy makers in their understanding of vegetation similarity as viewed by various animal species. The VSI assesses the spatial configuration of vegetation conditions, and although it does not measure habitat loss due to particular natural or human-caused disturbances, it provides a new perspective on landscape vegetation similarity.