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Landscape ecology: what is it?

Landscape ecology is the study of spatial variation in landscapes at a variety of scales. It includes the biophysical and societal causes and consequences of landscape heterogeneity. Above all, it is broadly interdisciplinary.

The conceptual and theoretical core of landscape ecology links natural sciences with related human disciplines. Landscape ecology can be portrayed by several of its core themes: 

  • the spatial pattern or structure of landscapes, ranging from wilderness to cities, 
  • the relationship between pattern and process in landscapes, 
  • the relationship of human activity to landscape pattern, process and change,
  • the effect of scale and disturbance on the landscape. 

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Volume 36 no. 1, August 2018