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r.li.patchdensity.1grass - Man Page

Calculates patch density index on a raster map, using a 4 neighbour algorithm


raster, landscape structure analysis, patch index


r.li.patchdensity --help
r.li.patchdensity input=name config=name output=name  [--overwrite]  [--help]  [--verbose]  [--quiet]  [--ui]



Allow output files to overwrite existing files


Print usage summary


Verbose module output


Quiet module output


Force launching GUI dialog


input=name [required]

Name of input raster map

config=name [required]

Configuration file

output=name [required]

Name for output raster map


r.li.patchdensity calculates the "patch density index", the number of patches per square kilometer, as:

PD = Npatch / A
  • A:sampling area size
  • Npatch: number of patches

This index is calculated using a 4 neighbour algorithm, diagonal cells are ignored when tracing a patch.


Do not use absolute path names for the config and output file/map parameters. If the "moving window" method was selected in g.gui.rlisetup, then the output will be a raster map, otherwise an ASCII file will be generated in the folder C:\Users\userxy\AppData\Roaming\GRASS8\r.li\output\ (MS-Windows) or $HOME/.grass8/r.li/output/ (GNU/Linux).

A sample area of only NULL values is considered to have zero patches, that is, the result is always ≥ 0.


To calculate patch density index on map my_map, using my_conf configuration file (previously defined with g.gui.rlisetup) and saving results in my_out, run:

r.li.patchdensity input=my_map conf=my_conf output=my_out

Example for Spearfish forest areas:

g.region raster=landcover.30m -p
# extract forested areas:
r.category landcover.30m
r.mapcalc "forests = if(landcover.30m >= 41 && landcover.30m <= 43, 1, null())"
# patch density (7x7 moving window defined in g.gui.rlisetup):
r.li.patchdensity forests conf=movwindow7 out=forests_p_dens7
r.univar forests_p_dens7
d.rast.leg forests_p_dens7
r.to.vect forests out=forests feature=area
d.vect forests type=boundary

Forest map (North Carolina sample dataset) example:

g.region raster=landclass96 -p
r.mapcalc "forests = if(landclass96 == 5, 1, null() )"
r.li.patchdensity input=forests conf=movwindow7 out=forests_patchdensity_mov7
# verify
r.univar forests_patchdensity_mov7
r.to.vect input=forests output=forests type=area
d.mon wx0
d.rast forests_patchdensity_mov7
d.vect forests type=boundary

See Also

r.li - package overview


McGarigal, K., and B. J. Marks. 1995. FRAGSTATS: spatial pattern analysis program for quantifying landscape structure. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-351. (PDF)


Michael Shapiro - CERL (patch identification)
Markus Metz (statistics)

Source Code

Available at: r.li.patchdensity source code (history)

Accessed: Tuesday May 14 13:40:24 2024

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