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 Landscape Structure Module (LSM)


Some ecosystem services (ES), which are provided to humans at the regional level, are strongly influenced by the form and configuration of land use types and landscape elements, such as streets. However, not all ES are influenced by spatial patterns. Especially ecological and aesthetical aspects can be characterized by analysing landscape structure or the distribution of land use types with the help of landscape metrics. In general, near-to-nature land use types can be positively assessed regarding their ecological and aesthetical effects. However, such land use types are less valuable, if they are spatially concentrated in a region. For the provision of ES, the accessibility and hence, the real availability is of importance. Furthermore, the capacity for providing ES might be bound to structural characteristics. A landscape can provide intact ecosystems, if they are sufficiently large and connected. Such a biotope network ensures the availability of habitats and the genetic exchange of native animal and plant species.


With the help of the landscape structure add-on, the multi-criteria assessment is getting refined. In the current version of GISCAME, six criteria can be taken into account (Table). The cost-distance-analysis for the consideration of the habitat network takes a special position, because more complex approaches compared to landscape metrics are applied.


Table: Assignment of assessment criteria to ES


Assessment criterion


Assessed ES**

Landscape fragmentation

Effective mesh size

Ecological Integrity

Habitat suitability

Core area index

Ecological Integrity

Habitat network


Ecological Integrity

Landscape diversity

Shannon’s diversity index

Ecological Integrity / Landscape aesthetics

Compactness of natural land use types

Shape index

Ecological Integrity / Landscape aesthetics


*Landscape metrics, **Ecosystem servcies




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