Landscape Ecology


Landscapes are dynamic assemblages of nested ecosystems that span a broad range of spatial scales. Landscape ecology is a science concerned with the biophysical and cultural patterns and processes that influence landscape structure, function and change.

Keywords: landscape; land use; land cover; ecology; society; population

Figure 1.

Conceptual diagram of the patch, corridor and matrix landscape model.

Figure 2.

Conceptual model of the interrelationships between different spatial scales within the landscape hierarchy.

Figure 3.

Aerial photograph of a landscape in southwestern Florida (USA) where, in combination, cultural, physical and biological disturbances have influenced landscape structure and function.


Further Reading

Allen TFH and Hoekstra TW (1992) Toward a Unified Ecology. New York: Columbia University Press.

Cohen JE (1995) How Many People Can the Earth Support? New York: WW Norton.

deGroot RS (1992) Functions of Nature: Evaluation of Nature in Environmental Planning, Management and Decision Making. Amsterdam: Wolters‐Noordhoff.

Forman RTT (1995) Land Mosaics: the Ecology of Landscapes and Regions. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Forman RTT and Godron M (1986) Landscape Ecology. New York: John Wiley.

Foster DR, Fluet M and Boose ER (1999) Human or natural disturbance: landscape‐scale dynamics of the tropical forests of Puerto Rico. Ecological Applications 9(2): 555–572.

McDonnell MJ and Pickett TA (eds) (1993) Humans as Components of Ecosystems. New York: Springer‐Verlag.

Meinig DW (ed.) (1979) The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes. New York: Oxford University Press.

Naveh Z and Lieberman AS (1994) Landscape Ecology: Theory and Application, 2nd edn. New York: Springer‐Verlag.

Odum EP (1997) Ecology: A Bridge Between Science and Society. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.

Vitousek PM (1994) Beyond global warming: ecology and global change. Ecology 75(7): 1861–1876.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
LaGro, James A(Apr 2001) Landscape Ecology. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003247]