Landscape ecology is the study of the structure and function of dynamic, heterogeneous landscapes. Landscapes are comprised of multiple and interacting ecosystems that can exist at various spatial scales, but typically are considered at a kilometers-wide extent.
As landscape ecology advances to face new challenges in resource management and conservation, there is an urgent need to consolidate this knowledge into working models and applications. Cross-disciplinary/cultural backgrounds are required in order to devise a more realistic and relevant foundation for guiding management. Landscape ecology is the ‘common language’ facilitating the transfer of concepts to practitioners and the dissemination of research findings to policy makers or even the general public. The demand for input and guiding principles from landscape ecologists to resource management decision at all scales is indeed very high. Forest resources are within this context, as they constitute fundamental parts of our living landscape. Thus, forestry was the first major field to recognize the importance of landscape ecology, and today foresters widely known, use, and even develop landscape ecology principles based on practical experience. Landscape ecology is an exciting field for researchers and managers together. In this sense, landscape ecology is viewed as the nexus of ecology, resource management, and land use planning.
Forest landscape ecology
Forest landscape ecology examines broad-scale patterns and processes and their interactions in forested systems and informs the management of these ecosystems. Beyond being among the richest and the most complex terrestrial systems, forest landscapes serve society by providing an array of products and services and, if managed properly, can do so sustainably.