A new Free and Open Source tool for semi-automatic landscape analysis

Duccio Rocchini, University of Trento, Italy

The University of Trento, a new associate partner of ECOPOTENTIAL, is part of a research group developing a new tool for the analysis of land use spatial patterns in a semi-automatic manner. The tool, called r.pi and developed under the Free and open Source Software GRASS GIS, allows to perform spatial analysis of landscape patterns and their changes in space and time in a robust and reproducible manner. Analyzing the changing spatial patterns of landscapes due to climate change or anthropogenic impact is important for various disciplines. Land cover change and its resulting modification of spatial patterns in the landscape influence various geographical or ecological parameters. Changing formerly continuous into discontinuous ecosystems due to land cover conversion causes isolated fragments in the landscape. Maintaining the connectivity of a fragmented landscape is relevant for e.g. nutrient cycle, water-runoff or species population persistence. Various established and newly developed indices for spatial pattern analysis are provided in this program, to derive further meaningful information like spatial configuration, patch irreplaceability or connectivity of fragments based on a dispersal model approach. The complete description of the r.pi module for GRASS GIS is now available in Wegmann et al. (2017).

Citation: Wegmann, M. Leutner, B.F., Metz, M., Neteler, M., Dech, S., Rocchini, D.* (2017). r.pi: a GRASS GIS package for semi-automatic spatial pattern analysis of remotely sensed land cover data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12827.

Duccio Rocchini is a Professor in Biology and Ecology at the University of Trento, Italy. He attained his PhD in 2005 at the University of Siena (Italy) under the supervision of Prof. Alessandro Chiarucci, dealing with remote sensing applied to the study of plant communities. After having collaborated with international institutions like U.S. Geological Survey, University of Nottingham (School of Geography, UK), Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (India), University of California Los Angeles (Department of Geography, US), he joined the Fondazione Edmund Mach in Trento in 2009, in the Dr. Markus Neteler’s GIS and Remote Sensing group, promoting open source algorithms for ecology. His main research interests are related to plant community ecology, biodiversity analysis at multiple spatial scales, species distribution modelling, spatial and computational ecology and ecological remote sensing. Over the years, he promoted the use of remote sensing for the study of plant biological invasions and biodiversity change in space and time, publishing more than 120 ISI papers on this theme. He is currently Senior Editor of Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation and Associate Editor in plant ecology (Journal of Vegetation Science, Applied Vegetation Science) and computational ecology (Ecological Informatics) journals.