Introduction to landscape ecology with R


R is a free, open-source programming language created as an environment for statistical computing and visualization. The advantages of using R include its flexibility, ease of collaboration, and focus on reproducibility. Additionally, the concept of packages - collections of R functions, data, and compiled code created by users - allowed for the growth of its capabilities and expansion into many scientific fields. In recent years, R also has become one of the most often used tools in ecology. R also has a long history of supporting spatial data analysis, including spatial data downloading, preprocessing, visualizing, and modeling. Recently, however, some new packages have appeared which have significantly changed the work with spatial data in R; in particular, the sf package. The workshop will be divided into two parts. The first one will introduce participants to the spatial data analysis system in R. The focus will be on getting started, with demonstrations of key packages, spatial analysis, and making maps. The second part of the workshop will focus on how to use the landscapemetrics package. This package is based on the main concepts from FRAGSTATS, but it is characterized by a number of advantages. These include, among others, removing existing metric implementation errors, adding new landscape metrics, enabling landscape visualization, and allowing for calculations on large input data. A particular advantage is also an ability to integrate this package with other packages for spatial analysis, so it is possible to download spatial data, process it, calculate landscape metrics and visualize them within one tool. The workshop will be a mixture of theoretical and practical. Pointers to further materials will ensure that participants know where to get help and how to take confident next steps after the workshop.

Toronto, Canada (virtually)