, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 111-133

A review of models of landscape change

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Abstract

Models of landscape change may serve a variety of purposes, from exploring the interaction of natural processes to evaluating proposed management treatments. These models can be categorized as either whole landscape models, distributional landscape models, or spatial landscape models, depending on the amount of detail included in the models. Distributional models, while widely used, exclude spatial detail important for most landscape ecological research. Spatial models require substantial data, now more readily available, via remote sensing, and more easily manipulated, in geographical information systems. In spite of these technical advances, spatial modelling is poorly developed, largely because landscape change itself is poorly understood.

To facilitate further development of landscape models I suggest (1) empirical multivariate studies of landscape change, (2) modelling of individual landscape processes, (3) explicit study of the effect of model scale on model behavior, and (4) ‘scaling-up’ results of studies, on smaller land areas, that have landscape relevance.