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Functional Connectivity Model

written by Grant Hamilton

Basic Information Acronym: FunConn
Author/Owner/Steward: David Theobald, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
Type: Free ArcGIS toolbox
Platform: ArcGIS 9.x and 10.x


FunConn is a toolbox for ArcGIS that allows users to create terrestrial habitats and landscape network models. The habitat model is based on a animal’s vegetation affinities, so a landcover layer (in raster) is the minimal dataset required to run the model. No sampling data is required.

The Analysis toolset allows for graph theoretic or network-type analyses to be executed on landscape networks. One application of the network analysis tool is modelling least cost paths between fragmented habitats. Tools included in the Analysis toolset allow for calculating minimum spanning trees based on a user-defined weight values, calculating node and edge interactions based on user-defined fields and equation strings, and finding the shortest paths from each node to every other node in the network. The Export toolset exports the landscape network to an x x y matrix based on user-defined weight values.


Download FunConn here (you will be asked to enter institutional affiliation and your email address). An email with a user name and password to login and download the toolbox will then be sent to you. Once the toolbox is download is completed, extract the zip file to your hard drive and add it to the ArcGIS toolbox in the Toolbox window. FunConn was written for ArcGIS 9.2 but will also work with ArcGIS 10.x.

The ArcGIS Toolbox menu expanded revealing all of the FunConn tools available.

Example Application - Modelling Habitat Suitability, Patches and Corridors for the Canada Lynx

The FunConn handbook provides a tutorial on the features of the toolbox based on a dataset for modelling Canada lynx habitat. The dataset is including in the toolbox download.

Results of habitat quality analysis for Lynx canadensis. The variables included in this analysis were landcover, resource quality, and minimum patch size (minimum home range), and degree of disturbance due to human activity.

The attribute table for the landcover raster input. Habitat quality is related to landcover. A habitat quality of 75% is the minimum default assumed to be capable of supporting the species. 100% indicates the highest suitability possible.

Patch structure defines an organism’s response to edge and core habitats. For instance, if a patch is composed of entirely of high-quality land cover type, does it decrease in value as the organism approaches the edge? In the case of lynx, an old growth spruce-fir patch is optimal; however the core of the patch is more valuable than the edge. These core-favoring species are edge-negative. Species that exhibit no preference for core or edge habitat areas are edge-neutral.

FunConn can also model habitat patches (minimum home ranges). Unique color patches represent the home range of an individual lynx.

The Landscape Networks tool can be used to model linkage corridors between patches.


Theobald, D.M., J.L. Norman, and M.R. Sherburne. 2006. FunConn v1: Functional Connectivity tools for ArcGIS v9. Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University.

Contact Information

Contact Information: David Theobald
Contact Email:


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tools/funconn.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/08 15:24 by jgh