MSc by Asja Bernd: “Mind the Gap: A Global Analysis of Grassland Fragmentation using MODIS Land Cover Data”

MSc by Asja Bernd: “Mind the Gap: A Global Analysis of Grassland Fragmentation using MODIS Land Cover Data”

April 15, 2015

AsjaBernd_MSc_GlobalChangeEcology_org_2015_resizedeast_africa_af_areaThe MSc thesis by Asja Bernd titled “Mind the Gap: A Global Analysis of Grassland Fragmentation using MODIS Land Cover Data” is handed in. Very interesting results on global grassland fragmentation. Read the abstract:

Around the world, grassland and savannah ecosystems are under intense anthropogenic use, yet research has not given them much attention. One significant threat is fragmentation, reducing habitat connectivity and hindering species dispersal. Using MODIS land cover data from 2012, combined with infrastructure data derived from VMAP0 and OpenStreetMap, I assessed the fragmentation of grasslands on a global scale. The metrics applied were patch size, distance to the euclidean nearest neighbour and number of neighbours per patch. To quantify the contribution of human pressure to fragmentation, the results were correlated with the Human Influence Index and human population density. For subsets, selected from the Global 200 Ecoregions, I analysed land cover data from 2001 and 2012 to determine
trends over time. Globally, grasslands are highly fragmented by infrastructure, which reduced patch size by more than 50 %, and significantly increased isolation. Human pressure seems to act as a driver of fragmentation, diminishing patch size and the number of neighbours, while increasing the distance to neighbours. For the subsets, results varied, but two of three metrics indicated an increase in fragmentation between 2001 and 2012. In the face of declining migrations of terrestrial mammals and increasing human pressure, a better understanding of the effects of fragmentation is needed to develop adequate management and protection strategies.

Supervisor: Prof. Neil Burgess and Dr. Martin Wegmann

you may also like:

New staff member Luisa Pflumm

New staff member Luisa Pflumm

Luisa Pflumm joined the Earth Observation Research Cluster in May 2024 as part of the EcoGlob project and is working with the UAS team in the context of remote sensing for biodiversity and nature conservation. She received her Bachelor's degree in Geography from the...

New team member: Ása Dögg Adalsteinsdottir

New team member: Ása Dögg Adalsteinsdottir

Ása Dögg Adalsteinsdottir joined the Earth Observation Research Cluster in May 2024 as a member of the EO4CAM project team. After earning a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Iceland, she moved to Germany to study in our EAGLE master's program. She...

NEW TEAM MEMBER: CHRISTIAN SCHÄFER

NEW TEAM MEMBER: CHRISTIAN SCHÄFER

Christian Schäfer joined the EO4CAM project in May 2024. He received his Master's degree in 2017 from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (JMU), focusing on GIS-based synthesis of transboundary soil maps. During his work in the JMU BigData@Geo project, he enhanced...

GGW talk on geodata, mobility and social media

GGW talk on geodata, mobility and social media

On Monday the 13th of May our PhD students Ariane Droin and Johannes Mast were holding a talk at the Geographische Gesellschaft Würzburg organised by the Fachschaft Geographie about 'Geodaten, Mobilität und soziale Medien. Big data und die lokale Perspektive der...

NetCDA kick-off workshop

NetCDA kick-off workshop

Yesterday, on May 16th, the partners of the project "European Academic Network for Capacity Development in Climate Change Adaptations in Africa" (NetCDA) met to jointly and officially kick-off their project. The NetCDA team at the University of Würzburg invited all...