Landscape Ecology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Ecological systems are diverse and heterogeneous. Landscape ecology is the science and art of studying and improving the relationship between spatial pattern and ecological processes on a multitude of scales and organizational levels. In a broad sense, landscape ecology represents both a field of study and a scientific perspective or paradigm. As a highly interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary enterprise, landscape ecology integrates biophysical and analytical approaches with humanistic and holistic perspectives across natural and social sciences. Landscapes are spatially heterogeneous geographic areas characterized by diverse interacting patches or ecosystems, ranging from relatively natural terrestrial and aquatic systems such as forests, grasslands, and lakes to human-dominated environments including agricultural and urban settings. The most salient characteristics of landscape ecology are its unequivocal emphasis on the relationship among pattern, process, and scale and its focus on broad-scale ecological and environmental issues that necessitates the coupling between biophysical and socioeconomic processes. Key research topics in landscape ecology include ecological flows in landscape mosaics, land-use and land-cover change, scaling, relating landscape pattern analysis with ecological processes, and landscape conservation and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Ecology, Five-Volume Set
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080914565
ISBN (Print)9780080454054
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Land-use and land-cover change
  • Landscape sustainability
  • Patch dynamics
  • Pattern-process-scale relationships
  • Scale effects and scaling
  • Spatial heterogeneity
  • Transdisciplinarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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