Patches can have a variety of identities based on their characteristics and importance to the overall landscape. For example, the matrix of a landscape can be defined as the most extensive and connected patch type and therefore, exerts a dominant influence on the area's flora and fauna and ecological processes. The matrix connectivity is the degree to which the landscape facilitates movement of species between patches. Not all landscapes have a clear matrix.

An isolated patch is one that is a significant distance away from other similar patches. The isolation can result in decreased colonization rates within that patch.

Barriers can prevent the dispersal of species or resources between patches and decrease the landscape connectivity. In response to this, corridors are patches that physically connect two larger areas of similar patch types. Similarly, stepping stones are patches that help in the dispersal between two patches by supporting a small population of the species in between two large patches.