A Cross-site Comparative Analysis of Land Fragmentation, Part 1
Land fragmentation caused by urban sprawl and “leap frog” development patterns has important consequences on ecological structure and function. A group of researchers from several LTER sites--Central Arizona-Phoenix, Konza Prairie, Jornada Basin, Sevilleta, and Shortgrass Steppe—is collaborating in a cross-site comparison study to analyze the land fragmentation patterns and processes in some of the fast growing cities in the Southwest and Midwest regions. The main goal of this study is to understand the roles of urban population dynamics, water infrastructure, transportation networks, and annexation on land fragmentation.
We propose this working group as a follow-up of the first workshop held in April 2009, in which the researchers from these sites developed a common methodology and action plan to analyze the fragmentation patterns in their respective research sites. In this proposed working group—divided into two sessions (each two hours long), we will present some of the preliminary findings of the study, share experiences, discuss the key issues, and plan the future course of actions. The first session will provide an opportunity for the participating researchers to discuss the preliminary results of the fragmentation pattern analysis, discuss the causes of fragmentation, and share their views on the dataset and methodology used in the study.
After the first session, the working group will be continued in the second session as a closed meeting (i.e., A Cross-site Comparative Analysis of Land Fragmentation, Part 2), devoting much of the second part of the working group to develop the study specific future action plan, expected study outcomes, and so forth.