The current state of forest connectedness in Nova Scotia: Comparing a variety of methods to gain perspective

Project description (English)

This project will contribute to Nova Scotia’s commitments to resolution 40-3 on ecological connectivity, adaptation to climate change and biodiversity conservation, passed by the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in 2016. Landscape connectivity and fragmentation can be measured using a variety of different methods, each of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, this work will employ multiple approaches to measuring connectivity and fragmentation across Nova Scotia. This will result in the opportunity to compare various methods and metrics across the same landscape, something that is rarely done in the literature but has the potential to greatly enhance our understanding of connectivity and fragmentation across the landscape. Specifically, effective mesh size (m_eff), a variety of metrics from the Patch Analyst for ArcGIS extension (percentage class area, median patch size [MedPS], edge density [ED] and mean perimeter-area ratio [MPAR]) and Circuitscape will all be used. To examine how these metrics change across the province, each will be calculated for a variety of different analytical units (whole province, ecoregion, ecodistrict) as well as using a modified moving window approach. For each of these methods, the results for today’s landscape were compared to a historical baseline landscape to assess how landscape connectivity and fragmentation across the province has changed since the arrival of Europeans.

Project description (French)

Main contact organization for the project

Dalhousie University

Partner organization(s)

Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry

Part of larger network(s)

NEG/ECP Resolution 40-3

Project status


Start year of project


Date of completion


Primary ecosystem focus


Connectivity action

Research (Modelling)

Research (Evaluation of structural connectivity)

Standard keywords

Transportation (roads, rails, bridges, culverts)


Landscape Connectivity

Landscape Fragmentation

Geographical coverage


Nova Scotia

Location name

Nova Scotia