Laboratory for Landscape and Conservation Ecology

at Kansas State University







bullet Lab Director
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Laboratory for Landscape and Conservation Ecology

The Laboratory for Landscape and Conservation Ecology (LLACE) at Kansas State University is broadly concerned with investigating the causes and consequences of ecological heterogeneitythe reciprocal effects of spatial pattern on ecological process.  Research in the LLACE is conducted at the interface of landscape ecology and conservation biology, and is distinguished by a combination of theoretical and field-based investigations into the ecological consequences of habitat loss, fragmentation, and land management.

The Geometry of Land Use.  (K. A. With. 2015.  Essentials of Landscape Ecology, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA)
Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology:  A Research Nexus
Humans have transformed landscapes on a global scale, leading to the loss, fragmentation, and degradation of native habitats.  Not coincidentally, we are in the midst of a global biodiversity crisis, in which species are going extinct at unprecedented rates, mostly as a consequence of anthropogenic habitat loss.  Landscape ecology has emerged to deal with the human dimensions of land use, in response to the growing recognition that we need to manage natural resources at broader landscape scales.  More generally, landscape ecology addresses  the effect of spatial pattern (such as habitat fragmentation) on ecological processes.  Conservation biology, in turn, has arisen to address the alarming loss of biodiversity, which necessitates an understanding of human land-use activities, such as those leading to habitat loss and fragmentation.  Thus, landscape ecology and conservation biology offer complementary perspectives on the causes and consequences of the biodiversity crisis. 
Research Focus
Research in the LLACE spans a wide range of scales and a diverse array of systems, from lab-based research involving computer simulation modeling on virtual landscapes, to the investigation of arthropod responses to habitat fragmentation in experimental landscape plots in both the field and lab, to the response of vertebrate populations to land-management practices throughout the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. Some past and current research projects include:
bulletModeling extinction risk for migratory songbirds in response to habitat loss and fragmentation
bulletRegional assessment of population viability for grassland birds in the Flint Hills, the largest remaining tallgrass landscape in the world
bulletThe landscape ecology of invasive spread
bulletAnalysis of landscape and population connectivity for species within managed grasslands
bulletExperimental study of the relative effects of habitat area versus fragmentation on community patterns and species interactions
bulletAssessing the risk of disease spread in heterogeneous landscapes (landscape epidemiology)

Laboratory for Landscape and Conservation Ecology
2 Bushnell Hall
Division of Biology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS  66505  USA

Phone:  1-785-532-5040