Preface: Marine and coastal applications in landscape ecology
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Landscape ecology traditionally has been limited to the study of terrestrial systems; however, the questions and methods defining the science are equally relevant for marine and coastal systems. The reciprocal relationship between spatial pattern and ecological processes and the overarching effect of scale on this relationship was being explored in some marine and coastal settings as the general discipline of landscape ecology was evolving throughout the latter two decades of the last century. As with all components of the biosphere, an understanding of these relationships is critical for successful management of marine and coastal systems. In these systems, widely dispersed field or ship-based observations and lack of broad scale data have historically precluded quantification of large-scale patterns and processes and hindered management efforts. However, relatively recent advances in geographic information systems, remote sensing and computer technologies have begun to address these issues and are now permitting assessments of pattern and process in oceans. The intent of this special issue is to highlight research that is adapting the tools of landscape ecology to answer ecological questions within marine and coastal systems, to address the unique challenges faced in these landscapes, and to stimulate an exchange of ideas and solutions to common problems. Inspiration for this special issue of Landscape Ecology began with a special session on “Marine and Coastal Applications in Landscape Ecology” that was held at the 19th Annual Symposium of the United States Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, March 31–April 2, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
KeywordsBenthic landscapes Habitat fragmentation Landscape ecology Larval dispersal Marine coral reef reserves Polychaete species diversity Reef fish communities Seagrass landscape pattern Sediment metal concentrations
Each of the manuscripts was reviewed by at least two independent experts and one or more of the guest editors. We would like to thank the reviewers for their detailed and constructive reviews. We also acknowledge the efforts of Brad Robbins and Jeff Hollister, who worked with us to plan the special session on “Marine and Coastal Applications in Landscape Ecology”. The final quality of this issue reflects the efforts of the Editor-in-Chief, Jianguo (Jingle) Wu, to whom we are appreciative for the opportunity to publish this issue. We would like to thank the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development-Atlantic Ecology Division for funding this special issue. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S.EPA). This manuscript has been reviewed by the U.S. EPA National Health and Environmental Research Laboratory, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA, and has been approved for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents necessarily reflect the views and policies of the U.S. EPA. NHEERL-AED contribution number AED-07–025. This project was also approved for publication as manuscript 2007-18094 by the Purdue University Agricultural Research Program.
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