Landscape metrics as a framework to measure the effect
of landscape structure on the spread of invasive insect
Daniel B. Stouffer
Susan P. Worner
Received: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published online: 25 September 2017
Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017
Context With accelerated land-use change through-
out the world, increased understanding of the relative
effects of landscape composition and conﬁguration on
biological system and bioinvasion in particular, is
needed to design effective management strategies.
However, this topic is poorly understood in part
because empirical studies often fail to account for
large gradients of habitat complexity and offer insuf-
ﬁcient or even no replication across habitats.
Objectives The aim of this study was to disentangle
the independent and interactive effects of landscape
composition and landscape conﬁguration on the
establishment and spread of invasive insect species.
Methods We explore a spatially-explicit, mechanis-
tic modeling framework that allows for systematic
investigation of the impact of changes in landscape
composition and landscape conﬁguration on estab-
lishment and spread of invasive insect species.
Landscape metrics are used as an indicators of
invasive insect establishment and spread.
Results We showed that the presence of an Allee
effect leads to a balance between the effectiveness of
spread and invasion success. Spread is maximized at
an intermediate dispersal level and inhibited at both
low and high levels of dispersal. The landscape, by
either increasing or mitigating the dispersal abilities of
a species, can lead to a rate of spread under a dispersal
threshold for which density and spread is at the
Conclusion Our study proposes that change in
landscape structure is an additional explanation of
the highly variable spread dynamics observed in
natural and anthropogenic landscapes. Consequently,
a landscape-scale perspective could signiﬁcantly
improve spread risk assessment and the design of
control or containment strategies.
Keywords Invasive insects Á Heterogeneous
landscape Á Landscape metrics Á Population dynamics Á
Invasive spread Á Spatially-explicit stochastic models
Throughout the world, habitat fragmentation and land-
use change are among the most critical threats to
biodiversity and ecosystems services (Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment 2005; Cardinale et al. 2012).
Both processes result in highly heterogeneous
A. Lustig (&) Á S. P. Worner
Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University,
Canterbury, New Zealand
D. B. Stouffer
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand
Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln
University, Canterbury, New Zealand
Landscape Ecol (2017) 32:2311–2325