Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Issues related to the detection of boundaries


M.-J. Fortin
S. Ferson
G. Edwards
D. Levine
K. Butera
V. Klemas
V. Klemas



Publication type:

Miscellaneous Publication

Primary Station(s):

Northern Research Station


Landscape Ecology. 15: 453-466.


Ecotones are inherent features of landscapes, transitional zones, and play more than one functional role in ecosystem dynamics. The delineation of ecotones and environmental boundaries is therefore an important step in land-use management planning. The delineation of ecotones depends on the phenomenon of interest and the statistical methods used as well as the associated spatial and temporal resolution of the data available. In the context of delineating wetland and riparian ecosystems, various data types (field data, remotely sensed data) can be used to delineate ecotones. Methodological issues related to their detection need to be addressed, however, so that their management and monitoring can yield useful information about their dynamics and functional roles in ecosystems. The aim of this paper is to review boundary detection methods. Because the most appropriate methods to detect and characterize boundaries depend of the spatial resolution and the measurement type of the data, a wide range of approaches are presented: GIS, remote sensing and statistical ones.


Fortin, M.-J.; Olson; R.J.; Ferson, S.; Iverson, L.; Hunsaker, C.; Edwards, G.; Levine, D.; Butera, K.; Klemas, V. 2000. Issues related to the detection of boundaries. Landscape Ecology. 15: 453-466.

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.