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BCB 322: Landscape Ecology


BCB 322: Landscape Ecology Lecture 1: Introduction What is a landscape? Total character of a region von Humboldt, 19th century landscapes in their ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: BCB 322: Landscape Ecology

BCB 322 Landscape Ecology
  • Lecture 1 Introduction

What is a landscape?
  • Total character of a region von Humboldt, 19th
  • landscapes in their totality as physical,
    ecological geographical entities, integrating
    all natural human patterns processes Naveh,
  • ..a heterogeneous land area composed of a
    cluster of interacting ecosystems that is
    repeated in similar form throughout Forman
    Godron, 1986
  • a particular configuration of topography,
    vegetation cover, land use settlement pattern
    which delimits some coherence of natural
    cultural process activities Green et al, 1996

  • In general, landscape can be defined as a broad
    area which is homogenous for some defined
    characters, in which we are able to perceive
    relationships between structural functional
  • Translated into parameters which we can analyse,
    we want to
  • Look at the physical layout of an area
  • Establish what has caused it to look that way
  • Understand how this impacts on the organisms (at
    a population level) that live in the area

What is landscape ecology?
  • The study of patterns processes that occur
    across a landscape
  • Often related to ecosystems that have been
    transformed through human activity
  • Allows planning for conservation purposes
  • Requires promotes understanding of the
    importance of spatial arrangement of patterns

What is landscape ecology?
  • A complex area, integrating aspects of many
    different fields, including
  • geography
  • botany
  • zoology
  • animal behaviour
  • ecology
  • landscape architecture
  • sociology human pressures

  • As landscape ecology developed it became clear
    that there were at least 3 major perspectives in
    which scientists were operating
  • Human grouping landscape into functional
    entities with meaning for human interactions
  • Geobotanical spatial distribution of biotic
    abiotic components of the landscape (soil,
    perceived plant landscapes, distribution of
    plant communities)
  • Animal conceptually related to human scale,
    although scale can be highly variable, depending
    on organism

  • Human aspect may be most complex (better data,
    integrates socioeconomic factors)
  • Dangerous to consider anthropocentric viewpoint
  • Ignoring ecological criteria/models benefits only
    humans human-adapted animals
  • Behavioural ecology perceptual range
  • Integration of other perspectives requires
    knowledge about population dynamics good
    ecological models
  • Properly structured LE allows change prediction

Change prediction
  • Change prediction could be essential for the
    survival of entire ecosystems
  • Public/private forest land in Oregon Spies et
    al. 1994
  • Black pine forest, white other woodlands

Study Scale
Farina, 1998
  1. Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) 300x300m
  2. Fox (Vulpes vulpes) 3x3km
  3. Wolf (Canis lupus) 10x10km

Study Scale
  • Grain minimum area at which the study organism
    interacts with the patch structure of the
  • Extent coarsest scale at which they react
  • Space the final frontier Rodenberry, 1970
    Kareiva, 1994
  • Spacing (spatial arrangement) the scaled
    property of living organisms (individuals,
    populations, communities) in response to
    non-uniform resource distribution competition
    in space time

Study Scale
  • Landscape ecological studies are scale dependent.
  • Although we study complicated systems, it is
    usually in relation to a reference organism,
    which determines the study scale
  • Human scale landscape comprises heterogeneous
    mosaic of patches (ecotopes), in which we look at
    physical, biological cultural elements
  • Ant drivers of landscape functions for an ant
    will be much finer resource availability is
    much more local, so we need to scale down our
    study to the beetles assumed perception

Landscape structure
  • Landscape is intrinsically heterogeneous at all
  • Hence, this mosaic is represented by patches
    inserted into a matrix (dominant cover)
  • Patches of several community types (higher level
    for biological complexity)
  • Spatial arrangement of patches, variance in
    quality proximity, proportion in the landscape,
    all modify behaviour of dependent organisms

(No Transcript)
Landscape classification
  • Generally used for studying interaction between
    human activity landscape.
  • Depends on large amounts of information
  • Aerial photographs
  • Satellite images
  • Cadastral maps
  • Geological, hydrological soil maps
  • Geographic biothematic maps (eg vegetation,
    land use, fire frequency)
  • This information is integrated in Geographical
    Information Systems (GIS)

Patch types
  • Structural soil type overlapped with vegetation
  • Functional physical descriptor (altitude, light,
    temperature, rainfall). Includes ecotope
  • Resource animal ecology equal or smaller than
    home range
  • Habitat distinct plant communities (usually
    larger than home range)
  • Corridor controversial, but is a section of
    mosaic used by organism to move, or disperse

Landscape Classification
  • Classification is heirarchical
  • 3 habitat patches overlaid with small mammal
  • Territories divided to show resource patchiness

Ostfeld, 1992
Landscape classification
  • Complete study area (macrochore)
  • Hydrological zones/catchments (mesochore)
  • Geomorphological zones/physiotopes (mesochore)
  • Vegetation zones (microchore)
  • Each vegetation zone comprises several ecotopes,
    which are the homogenous units for a specific
    vegetation type (eg acacia thicket)

Canters et al, 1991
Landscape classification
  • Interestingly, although this classification
    system is frequently used, scales may depend from
    site to site.
  • Comparing alpine, hilly plain areas,
    topographic complexity may play a significant
  • However, it allows comparison of different
    studies, and can be changed for non-human scales
    as well.
  • Diversity measurements (Whittaker, 1977)
    correspond to these scales (a-diversity -gt
    ecotopes e-diversity -gt macrochores)
  • In urban areas, the ecological feedback component
    of the hierarchy breaks down

  • Landscape ecology is a young discipline, born in
    central and eastern Europe after WWII
  • Integrates geobotanic, animal human components
  • Makes use of several theories (island
    biogeography theory, hierarchy theory) and
    combines them with metapopulation and source-sink
    population theories
  • It is essentially spatial in nature
  • Behavioural ecology is strongly linked to
    landscape ecology
  • Patches are the emerging elements in the landscape

  • Canters, K.J., den Hereder, C.P. de Veer, A.A.,
    de Waal, R.W. (1991), Landscape-ecological
    mapping of the Netherlands. Landscape Ecology 5
  • Farina, A. (1998) Principles and Methods in
    Landscape Ecology, Chapman Hall, Cambridge,
  • Ostfeld, R. (1992), Small mammal herbivores in a
    patchy environment individual strategies and
    population responses, in Hunter, M.D., Ohgushi,
    T. Price, P.W. (eds.), Effects of resource
    distribution on animal-plant interaction,
    Academic Press, San Diego, San Diego, pp. 43-74.
  • Spies, T. Ripple, W.J. Bradshaw, G.A. (1994)
    Dynamics pattern of a managed coniferous forest
    landscape in Oregon. Ecological Applications
  • Whittaker, R.H. (1977) Evolution of species
    diversity in land communities. Evolutionary
    Biology 10 1-67

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