Landscape Ecology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Key concepts and research topics in landscape ecology revisited: 30 years after the Allerton Park workshop

  • Jianguo Wu


This year marks the 30th anniversary of a momentous meeting in the history of landscape ecology—the Landscape Ecology Workshop held in Allerton Park, Illinois, USA in 1983. On this special occasion, I am inspired to make some observations and comments on the state-of-the-science of landscape ecology as a tribute to this historic event. One may argue that the workshop galvanized a shift in paradigm and the development of an “identity” for landscape ecology. The field has advanced swiftly and productively during the past three decades, and reviewing the publications in the flagship journal Landscape Ecology indicates that the Allerton Park vision has been amazingly influential in shaping the direction of the field. Based on a synoptic analysis of the literature, I discuss the core questions, key topics, and future direction of landscape ecology.


Landscape ecology Core questions Key topics Future direction Allerton Park workshop 



I would like to thank the Allerton Park workshop participants, especially the organizers (Paul Risser, James Karr, Richard Forman, and Gary Barrett), for having inspired at least two generations of landscape ecologists around the world. I am also grateful to Qing Zhang for his assistance with the preparation of Figs. 2, 3, and 4.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life Sciences and Global Institute of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Human-Environment System Sustainability (CHESS)Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Sino-US Center for Conservation, Energy, and Sustainability Science, Inner Mongolia UniversityHohhotChina

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