Landscape Metrics and Indices:
An Overview of Their Use in Landscape Research
The aim of this overview paper is to analyze the use of various landscape metrics and landscape indices for the characterization of landscape structure and various processes at both landscape and ecosystem level. We analyzed the appearance of the terms landscape metrics/indexes/indices in combination with seven main categories in the field of landscape ecology [1) use/selection and misuse of metrics, 2) biodiversity and habitat analysis; 3) water quality; 4) evaluation of the landscape pattern and its change; 5) urban landscape pattern, road network; 6) aesthetics of landscape; 7) management, planning and monitoring] in the titles, abstracts and/or key words of research papers published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals indexed by the Institute of Science Information (ISI) Web of Science (WoS) from 1994 to October 2008. Most of the landscape metrics and indices are used concerning biodiversity and habitat analysis, and also the evaluation of landscape pattern and its change (up to 25 articles per year). There are only a few articles on the relationships of landscape metrics/indices/indexes to social aspects and landscape perception.