Landscape Ecology: State of the Art

  • Paul G. Risser
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 64)


Even casual observation reveals that most landscapes are composed of various components. A typical rural landscape might include several agricultural croplands, pastures, woodlands, streams, farmsteads, and roads. Thus, the landscape is heterogeneous, that is, consists of dissimilar or diverse components or elements. In addition to the rather obvious spatial heterogeneity, the landscape is temporally heterogeneous. Ecological processes operate at different time scales. For example, forest trees have life spans of decades, annual crops grow for less than a year, and individual stream insects may last only a few days. It is this mixture of processes consisting of different spatial and temporal scales, all operating as a system, that leads to the ideas of landscape ecology.


Temporal Scale Landscape Ecology Riparian Forest Landscape Heterogeneity Landscape Element 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

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  • Paul G. Risser

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