Landscape Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 767–779 | Cite as

Bridging the gap between ecology and spatial planning in landscape ecology

Article

Abstract

Landscapes are studied by pattern (the geographical approach) and by process (the ecological approach within landscape ecology). The future of landscape ecology depends on whether the two approaches can be integrated. We present an approach to bridge the gap between the many detailed process studies on species, and applied activities such as landscape evaluation and design, which require integrated knowledge. The approach consists of four components: 1) Empirical case studies of different scales, organisms and processes. 2) Modeling studies to extrapolate empirical studies across space and time. 3) Modeling studies to produce guidelines and standards for landscape conditions. 4) Methods and tools for integration to the landscape level, which can be built into multidisciplinary tools for design and evaluation. We conclude that in the landscape ecological literature, the steps 1 and 2 are well represented, whereas the steps 3 and 4 are mostly neglected. We challenge landscape ecologists to push landscape ecology to a higher level of maturation and to further develop its profile as a problem-oriented science.

application of empirical data dispersal corridors habitat network integration of pattern and process approach landscape planning metapopulation studies 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ALTERRA, Department of Landscape Ecology and Department of Environmental Sciences, Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology GroupWageningen University Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands

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