Landscape connectivity is essential for maintaining ecological flows across landscapes. Processes as diverse as dispersal; gene flow; the flow of water, materials and nutrients; the spread of invasive species, diseases, or pests; or the spread of disturbances like fire, are all potentially influenced by the connectivity of different land covers and land uses. Landscape connectivity can be defined structurally as well as functionally. Landscape connectivity may therefore be treated as either an independent variable, in terms of studying how landscape connectivity influences ecological flows, or as a dependent variable in which landscape connectivity emerges as a consequence of how species or ecological flows interact with landscape structure. This chapter thus explores the different scales and ways in which connectivity can be measured and studied, providing a bridge between the previous chapter on landscape pattern analysis and the chapters that follow on the effects of landscape pattern on ecological processes.
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