Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Joni Downs Firat, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Steven Reader, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Van Beynen, Ph.D.


FRAGSTATS, GIS, Habitat fragmentation and loss, Landscape metrics, Road-based metrics, Road ecology


Forests play a crucial role in maintaining the natural balance. They have essential features and structures used in the protection of flora and fauna. Human activities such as road construction disrupt ecosystems and negatively impact natural habitats. Roads cause forest fragmentation, and as a result of this, fragmentation has various negative effects on the natural habitat. These effects lead to loss of biological diversity, road mortality, habitat loss, fragmentation, and air pollution. The major goal of this study was to analyze changes in forest area, forest fragmentation, and forest road impacts using GIS for St. Johns County, Florida, between the years of 2000 and 2014.

In this study, an approach combining road-based metrics, landscape metrics, and LULC change analysis St Johns County was applied. With analyzing LULC change, it is seen that especially the settlement areas increase, while forest types are decreased by about 9% When the loss of forest types is examined, they were generally converted into settlement areas. Interestingly, some forest types follow conversion to other forest types. Result of analysis at class metrics level provided detailed information about changes in fragmentation. In each forest type, road density and road length were generally increased, and distance to nearest roads decreased. According to results changes in habitat fragmentation are much larger than expected based on habitat loss.

Included in

Geography Commons