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Ecology::spatial    Which::ecology    Theory::forman-    Between::defined    Human::patterns    Forman::across

File:NLCD landcover MSN area.png
Land cover surrounding Madison, WI. Fields are colored yellow and brown, water is colored blue, and urban surfaces are colored red.
File:NLCD impervious MSN area.png
Impervious surfaces surrounding Madison, WI
File:NLCD canopy MSN area.png
Canopy cover surrounding Madison, WI

Landscape ecology is the science of studying and improving relationships between ecological processes in the environment and particular ecosystems. This is done within a variety of landscape scales, development spatial patterns, and organizational levels of research and policy.<ref>Wu, J. 2006. Cross-disciplinarity, landscape ecology, and sustainability science. Landscape Ecology 21:1-4.</ref><ref name="wu-2007">Wu, J. and R. Hobbs (Eds). 2007. Key Topics in Landscape Ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.</ref><ref>Wu, J. 2008. Landscape ecology. In: S. E. Jorgensen (ed), Encyclopedia of Ecology. Elsevier, Oxford.</ref>

As a highly interdisciplinary field in systems science, landscape ecology integrates biophysical and analytical approaches with humanistic and holistic perspectives across the natural sciences and social sciences. Landscapes are spatially heterogeneous geographic areas characterized by diverse interacting patches or ecosystems, ranging from relatively natural terrestrial and aquatic systems such as forests, grasslands, and lakes to human-dominated environments including agricultural and urban settings.<ref name="wu-2007" /><ref name="Turner-2001">Turner, M.G., R. H. Gardner and R. V. O'Neill 2001. Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, USA.</ref><ref name="Forman-1995">Forman, R.T.T. 1995. Land Mosaics: The Ecology of Landscapes and Regions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.</ref> The most salient characteristics of landscape ecology are its emphasis on the relationship among pattern, process and scale, and its focus on broad-scale ecological and environmental issues. These necessitate the coupling between biophysical and socioeconomic sciences. Key research topics in landscape ecology include ecological flows in landscape mosaics, land use and land cover change, scaling, relating landscape pattern analysis with ecological processes, and landscape conservation and sustainability.<ref>Wu & Hobbs 2002</ref>


Landscape ecology sections
Intro   Terminology    Explanation   History   Relationship to ecological theory    Important terms in landscape ecology    Landscape ecology theory    Landscape ecology application   See also  References  External links  

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