BIOL 822 LANDSCAPE
FALL SEMESTERS (ODD YEARS)
Kimberly A. With
BIOL 822. Landscape Ecology. (4) I, in odd years. Effect
of spatial pattern on ecological processes. Course will emphasize how spatial
complexity emerges and is maintained in ecological systems, the analysis of
spatial pattern, scaling issues, the ecological consequences of spatial pattern
and applications for conservation and ecosystem management in both aquatic and
terrestrial systems. Two lecture hours, one hour discussion and two laboratory hours per week. Pr:
BIOL 529 or equivalent.
1) M. G. Turner, R. H. Gardner, and R. V. O'Neill.
2001. Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Pattern and
Process. Springer-Verlag, New York.
2) Gergel, S. E., and M. G. Turner, editors. 2002. Learning
Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques.
Springer-Verglag, New York.
What is Landscape Ecology?
Landscape Ecology is a rapidly emerging discipline
concerned with the study of the effects of spatial pattern on ecological
process. All ecological systems possess spatial complexity at some scale, and
thus Landscape Ecology is applicable to all areas of ecology encompassing a wide
range of scales (from fine scales to broad regional scales), systems (both
terrestrial and aquatic), and disciplines. Ecology has traditionally either
ignored spatial complexity or has focused on how ecological processes give rise
to spatial pattern. Landscape Ecology thus provides a complementary approach, by
explicitly focusing on how spatial pattern affects ecological process. Landscape
Ecology is becoming increasingly relevant for applied areas of ecology, such as
conservation biology, ecological restoration, biological control, invasive
species biology, and ecosystem management.
Definition of "landscape"
A "landscape" is a spatially heterogeneous
area, scaled relative to the organism or process of interest.
Thus, the spatial extent of a landscape may be a few square meters or many
square kilometers depending upon the specific process or organism being studied.
Furthermore, a "landscape" may be aquatic, given that spatial
heterogeneity is also a feature of aquatic systems.
The Domain of Landscape Ecology
Landscape Ecology focuses on six major areas of inquiry:
What biotic and abiotic processes are responsible for the
formation and dynamics of landscape patterns?
At what scale does spatial structure emerge on
How does spatial pattern affect ecological processes, such
as the movement of organisms (or the flow of water,
materials or nutrients) across landscapes?
How does landscape structure affect the spread of
disturbances, such as fire or disease or invasive species?
How can a landscape ecological perspective contribute to
better resource or land management?
What can landscape ecology contribute to the conservation