Maintaining ecosystem continuity has become a central element in spatial planning policies. Several authors acknowledge the environmental, also known as landscape, fragmentation due to human action as one of the main causes which have negative effects on biodiversity. The phenomenon consists of the transformation of larger patches of habitat in smaller ones, or fragments, which tend to be more isolated than in the original condition. It is extremely evident in urban areas, including settlements and various transport and mobility infrastructures, whose main ecological effects include loss of habitat, increased mortality of plants, and isolation of animal and vegetal species. In this paper, we assess landscape fragmentation dynamics of six landscape units belonging to two European regions, i.e. Sardinia in Italy (from 2003 to 2008), and Andalusia in Spain (from 2005 to 2009). We developed on three indices: the Infrastructural Fragmentation Index (IFI), the Urban Fragmentation Index (UFI), and the Connectivity Index (CI). We found that coastal areas generally suffer from an higher pressure due to the demand of longer or faster transport infrastructures and new settlements and less fragmented areas tend to show the most relevant dynamics in a sort of convergent pattern. Even though landscape fragmentation and connectivity are intuitively complementary phenomena, in this paper we did not found any statistical evidence of this associative property.
Landscape fragmentation in Mediterranean Europe: A comparative approach / De Montis, Andrea; Martín, Belén; Ortega, Emilio; Ledda, Antonio; Serra, Vittorio. - In: LAND USE POLICY. - ISSN 0264-8377. - 64:(2017), pp. 83-94. [10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.02.028]