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Showing papers in "Landscape Ecology in 2019"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Wang et al. as discussed by the authors summarized landscape studies of karst landscapes patterns, their dynamics and interactions among landscape pattern, hydrological processes and ecosystem services (ES), and conducted a systematic literature review to identify knowledge gaps and recommend future research and policy directions.
Abstract: The karst region of southwestern China, one of the largest continuous karsts in the world, is known for its unique landscapes and rich biodiversity. This region has suffered severe environmental degradation (e.g., vegetation cover loss, soil erosion and biodiversity loss). In recent decades, Chinese governments at different levels have initiated several ecological programs (e.g., Green for Grain, Mountain Closure) to restore the degraded environment and to alleviate poverty. This study summarizes landscape studies of karst landscapes patterns, their dynamics and interactions among landscape pattern, hydrological processes and ecosystem services (ES). We conducted a systematic literature review of science and land use policy to identify knowledge gaps and recommend future research and policy directions. Karst landscapes have experienced rapid turnover in recent decades due largely to the overlap of intense human activity on the fragile karst ecosystems. Many studies have comprehensively examined hydrology, soil processes and ecosystem services (ES) and their relationships with landscape pattern. Most of these studies have found that karst ecosystems recover with improved ES. However, the importance of epikarst in hydrological and soil processes, intense anthropogenic disturbance and landscape heterogeneity in landscape models remains elusive. Future research should focus on in-depth examination and modelling of karst specific hydrological and soil processes, investigating relationships between climatic change, landscape change, ecological processes, and region-specific ES assessments. Results from such research should provide the necessary scientific support for a comprehensive, national karst rocky desertification treatment project (Stage II) and poverty alleviation initiatives.

204 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Wang et al. as discussed by the authors examined the relationship between morphology and air temperature for 24 residential neighborhoods in Beijing, using correlation analysis, regression analysis, and structural equation modeling, finding that 3D morphology is more important than 2D morphology in predicting air temperature.
Abstract: Both urban two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) morphology can affect air and land surface temperature. While many studies have looked at the impact of horizontal morphology, few have explored the relationship between vertical morphology and temperature, especially at the neighborhood scale. This study aims to answer two questions: (1) Does air temperature vary in neighborhoods with different morphology? (2) If so, how does the 2D (horizontal) and 3D (vertical) morphology affect air temperature? We examined the relationship between morphology and air temperature for 24 residential neighborhoods in Beijing, using correlation analysis, regression analysis, and structural equation modeling. Morphological indicators were derived from remotely sensed land cover and light detecting and ranging (LiDAR) point cloud data. Air temperature was continuously measured using HOBO data loggers during the summer of 2014. Nighttime air temperature was higher in neighborhoods dominated by high-rise structures compared to neighborhoods dominated by low-rise structures suggesting that 3D morphology is more important than 2D morphology in predicting air temperature. The ratio of vegetation volume to building volume negatively correlated with average air temperature and daytime temperature, while the mean distance among adjacent buildings had a positive effect. Building height was the most important predictor of nighttime air temperature. The major determinants of air temperature in high-rise and low-rise neighborhoods were different. Both 2D and 3D morphology can affect air temperature in residential neighborhoods. Increasing vegetation volume relative to building volume and decreasing the distance among buildings can reduce daytime air temperatures.

68 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide perspectives from landscape ecology and landscape sustainability science for achieving an ecological civilization, and provide a key place to start is with landscapes, linking landscape patterns with biodiversity and ecosystem processes/function across scales.
Abstract: Reversing ecological degradation is critical for survival of many species but will not occur without a transformational reduction in humanity’s environmental impact. Ecological civilization is a way of approaching social and ecological reform and represents a new standard of human existence that may be sustainable well into the future. However, how to achieve ecological civilization still remains a question. Landscape sustainability science, with its theoretical basis in sustainability science and landscape ecology, offers a decisive path for achieving an ecological civilization. Three concepts integral to landscape ecology will be essential for contributing to an ecological civilization: (1) linking landscape patterns with biodiversity and ecosystem processes/function across scales, (2) measuring connectivity and flows across spatially heterogeneous systems, and (3) a systems understanding of the linkages between disturbance, resilience, and recovery. Achieving an ecological civilization is within the scope of human capability, but it will require a fundamental shift in world view and cooperation amongst all actors in the human race. A key place to start is with landscapes. This editorial provides perspectives from landscape ecology and landscape sustainability science for achieving this goal

68 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors performed a participatory mapping survey of 10 ecosystem services categories among 2301 rural residents in 13 European sites and identified five spatial bundles of ecosystem services, termed "Ecosystem services coldspots", "Wild harvesting ranges", "Nature areas", "Recreational spaces", and "Hotspots".
Abstract: Around 30% of European agricultural landscapes are classified as high nature value (HNV) farmlands. Current policies emphasize the multifunctionality of these landscapes, but little is known about the positive and negative associations of multiple ecosystem services within HNV farmland. This study aims to identify perceived ecosystem services synergies, trade-offs, and bundles in agricultural landscapes of HNV from a socio-cultural perspective. We performed a participatory mapping survey of 10 ecosystem services categories among 2301 rural residents in 13 European sites. We analyzed bivariate synergies and trade-offs between perceived ecosystem services through nonparametric correlation analyses. Spatial bundles of perceived ecosystem services were identified through hierarchical cluster analysis. Multinomial logit models were used to assess the influence of land cover on generating associations of ecosystem services. We find two strong and 16 moderate synergies of perceived ecosystem services (out of 46 possible ecosystem services pairs), mainly among different cultural ecosystem services. We do not reveal moderate or strong trade-offs. We identify five spatial bundles of ecosystem services, termed “Ecosystem services coldspots”, “Wild harvesting ranges”, “Nature areas”, “Recreational spaces”, and “Ecosystem services hotspots”. Of all land-cover co-variates, natural areas, urban areas, and roads have the strongest explanatory power. Our study complements prevailing biophysical and economic analyses of ecosystem services synergies, trade-offs and bundles by a spatially explicit, socio-cultural perspective. We conclude that socio-cultural mapping of ecosystem services is useful for understanding the perceived multifunctionality of a landscape.

67 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors characterize and map ES bundles across transformed landscapes in southeast Spain incorporating both the ecological and social perspectives, and propose an ES bundles classification that incorporates both their social and ecological dimensions.
Abstract: Humans continually transform landscapes, affecting the ecosystem services (ES) they provide. Thus, the spatial relationships among services vary across landscapes. Managers and decision makers have access to a variety of tools for mapping landscapes and analyzing their capacity to provide multiple ES. This paper characterizes and maps ES bundles across transformed landscapes in southeast Spain incorporating both the ecological and social perspectives. Our specific goals were to: (1) quantify ES biophysical supply, (2) identify public awareness, (3) map ES bundles, and (4) characterize types of ES bundles based on their social-ecological dimensions. Biophysical models and face-to-face social surveys were used to quantify and map ES bundles and explore the public awareness in a highly transformed Mediterranean region. Then, we classified ES bundles into four types using a matrix crossing the degree of biophysical ES supply and the degree of social awareness. Results mapped seven ES bundles types representing diverse social-ecological dynamics. ES bundles mapped at the municipality level showed mismatches between their biophysical provision and the public awareness, which has important implications for operationalizing the bundles concept for landscape planning and management. ES bundles characterization identified four types of bundles scenarios. We propose an ES bundles classification that incorporates both their social and ecological dimensions. Our findings can be used by land managers to identify areas in which ES are declining as well as priority areas for maximizing ES provision and can help to identify conflicts associated with new management and planning practices.

59 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A retrospective look at how the state-of-the-art of landscape pattern analysis has changed since 1998 is provided to show how pattern analysis techniques have evolved and identify some of the key lessons learned.
Abstract: Landscape ecology was founded on the idea that there is a reciprocal relationship between spatial pattern and ecological processes. I provide a retrospective look at how the state-of-the-art of landscape pattern analysis has changed since 1998. My objective is to show how pattern analysis techniques have evolved and identify some of the key lessons learned. The state-of-the-art in 1998 was derived from information theory, fractal geometry, percolation theory, hierarchy theory and graph theory, relying heavily on the island-patch conceptual model using categorical maps, although point-data analysis methods were actively being explored. We have gradually winnowed down the list of fundamental components of spatial pattern, and have clarified the appropriate and inappropriate use of landscape metrics for research and application. We have learned to let the objectives choose the metric, guided by the scale and nature of the ecological process of interest. The use of alternatives to the binary patch model (such as gradient analysis) shows great promise to advance landscape ecological knowledge. The patch paradigm is often of limited usefulness, and other ways to represent the pattern of landscape properties may reveal deeper insights. The field continues to advance as illustrated by papers in this special issue.

58 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors compared and integrated spherical land cover fractions derived from Google Street View (GSV) with the conventional planar land-cover fractions in estimating daytime and nighttime LST variations in the Phoenix metropolitan area, AZ.
Abstract: Land surface temperature (LST) directly responds to incoming solar radiation and is strongly influenced by vertical urban structures, such as trees and buildings that provide shade. Conventional LST-planar land-cover assessments do not explicitly address the vertical dimension of the “urbanscape” and therefore do not capture the heterogeneity of solar radiation exposure of planar surfaces adequately. To fill this gap, this study compares and integrates novel spherical land-cover fractions derived from Google Street View (GSV) with the conventional planar land-cover fractions in estimating daytime and nighttime LST variations in the Phoenix metropolitan area, AZ. The GSV spherical dataset was created using big data and machine learning techniques. The planar land cover was classified from 1 m NAIP imagery. Ordinal least square (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) were used to assess the relationship between LST and urban form (spherical and planar fractions) at the block group level. Social-demographic variables were also added provide the most comprehensive assessment of LST. The GSV spherical fractions provide better LST estimates than the planar land-cover fractions, because they capture the multi-layer tree crown and vertical wall influences that are missing from the bird-eye view imagery. The GWR regression further improves model fit versus the OLS regression (R2 increased from 0.6 to 0.8). GSV and spatial regression (GWR) approaches improve the specificity of LST identified by neighborhoods in Phoenix metro-area by accounting for shading. This place-specific information is critical for optimizing diverse cooling strategies to combat heat in desert cities.

57 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explored the importance of habitat type (biotic structural components, substrate, and depth) and environmental context (marine vs estuarine) in structuring juvenile fish assemblages throughout an entire coastal region.
Abstract: Habitat characteristics are often equated with habitat function for animals. However, in heterogeneous landscapes, similar habitat types occur in different environmental contexts. In the marine realm, landscape studies have been confined to particular environments, rather than encompassing entire seascapes, due to incompatible sampling methods required in different situations. We examined the interactive structuring effects of local habitat characteristics and environmental context on assemblage composition. We used a single technique—remote underwater video census—to explore the importance of habitat type (biotic structural components, substrate, and depth) and environmental context (marine vs estuarine) in structuring juvenile fish assemblages throughout an entire coastal region. In this model system, a range of structural habitat types were present in both estuarine and marine contexts. The 1315 video surveys collected show a clear hierarchy in the organisation of juvenile fish communities, with assemblages first distinguished by environmental context, then by habitat type. Marine and estuarine mangroves contained entirely different assemblages, and likewise for rocky reefs and submerged aquatic vegetation. Our results suggest that two functionally different ‘seascape nursery’ types exist at local scales within a single region, defined by their context. The context of a location can be of greater significance in determining potential habitat function than what habitat-forming biota and substrates are present, and apparently similar habitat types in different contexts may be functionally distinct. These findings have important implications for local-scale management and conservation of juvenile fish habitats, particularly in regard to offsetting and restoration.

51 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The response of rare species to human land use is poorly known because rarity is difficult to study; however, it is also important because rare species compose most of biodiversity, and are disproportionately vulnerable as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: The response of rare species to human land use is poorly known because rarity is difficult to study; however, it is also important because rare species compose most of biodiversity, and are disproportionately vulnerable. Regional bee pollinator faunas have not been assessed for rarity outside of Europe. Therefore, we do not know to what extent anthropogenic landscapes support rare North American bee biodiversity. We ask how richness and abundance of bee species respond to land use, within quartiles of species defined by their numerical, phenological, and geographical rarity. We conducted a field study to sample bee communities in forested, agricultural, and urban landscapes replicated across a large spatial extent of the northeastern United States. We used large independent data sets to classify observed bee species according to three forms of rarity: their numerical rarity (low regional frequency in a museum-based data set), phenological rarity (short flight season length) and geographical rarity (small range size). For all three forms of rarity, we found half as many rare bee species in agricultural landscapes compared to forest. We found half as many phenologically rare species in urban landscapes. Bees that had both shorter flight seasons and smaller range sizes were between one-third and one-half as rich in both types of anthropogenic landscapes, regardless of regional frequency. Although a minority of rare bee species were found in anthropogenic landscapes, our overall conclusion is that the native vegetation of our region, forest, is critical for supporting rare bee biodiversity.

51 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the benefits of adopting an integrated landscape approach with place and space, partnership and sustainability as three pillars are discussed, and the institutional frameworks for implementing sustainable forest management (SFM) policy within all EU member states are analyzed.
Abstract: Achieving sustainable development as an inclusive societal process, and securing sustainability and resilience of human societies as well as the natural environment are wicked problems Realising sustainable forest management (SFM) policy in local landscapes is one example Using the European Union as a case study for the implementation of SFM policy across multiple governance levels in different contexts, we discuss the benefits of adopting an integrated landscape approach with place and space, partnership and sustainability as three pillars We map the institutional frameworks for implementing SFM policy within all EU member states Next, we analyse whether or not there is EU-level forest governance, and how power is distributed among EU, member state and operational levels Mechanisms to steer a centralized forest governance approach towards SFM in the EU are marginal Instead, there is a polycentric forest governance with 90 national and sub-national governments, which create and implement own and EU-wide SFM-related policies Additionally, both among and within regional governance units there is a large variation in governance arrangements linked to land ownership at the operational level To effectively translate EU-wide SFM and SFM-related policies into action in local landscapes, it is crucial to acknowledge that there are different land ownership structures, landscape histories and alternative value chains based on multiple ecosystem services Therefore regionally adapted landscape approaches engaging multiple stakeholders and actors through evidence-based landscape governance and stewardship towards sustainable forest landscape management are needed Model Forest, Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research platform and Biosphere Reserve are three of many examples

51 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: To demonstrate that the information theory as applied to a bivariate random variable provides a consistent framework for quantifying, ordering, and classifying landscape patterns, information-theoretical metrics were calculated for an exemplar set of landscapes embodying all feasible configurations of land cover patterns.
Abstract: Quantitative grouping of similar landscape patterns is an important part of landscape ecology due to the relationship between a pattern and an underlying ecological process. One of the priorities in landscape ecology is a development of the theoretically consistent framework for quantifying, ordering and classifying landscape patterns. To demonstrate that the information theory as applied to a bivariate random variable provides a consistent framework for quantifying, ordering, and classifying landscape patterns. After presenting information theory in the context of landscapes, information-theoretical metrics were calculated for an exemplar set of landscapes embodying all feasible configurations of land cover patterns. Sequences and 2D parametrization of patterns in this set were performed to demonstrate the feasibility of information theory for the analysis of landscape patterns. Universal classification of landscape into pattern configuration types was achieved by transforming landscapes into a 2D space of weakly correlated information-theoretical metrics. An ordering of landscapes by any single metric cannot produce a sequence of continuously changing patterns. In real-life patterns, diversity induces complexity—increasingly diverse patterns are increasingly complex. Information theory provides a consistent, theory-based framework for the analysis of landscape patterns. Information-theoretical parametrization of landscapes offers a method for their classification.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, satellite and airborne Lidar data are integrated to quantify multi-decadal post-disturbance recovery of two indicators of forest structure, and compare the recovery trajectories of forest structures among managed and un-managed forests.
Abstract: Recovery from disturbances is a prominent measure of forest ecosystem resilience, with swift recovery indicating resilient systems. The forest ecosystems of Central Europe have recently been affected by unprecedented levels of natural disturbance, yet our understanding of their ability to recover from disturbances is still limited. We here integrated satellite and airborne Lidar data to (i) quantify multi-decadal post-disturbance recovery of two indicators of forest structure, and (ii) compare the recovery trajectories of forest structure among managed and un-managed forests. We developed satellite-based models predicting Lidar-derived estimates of tree cover and stand height at 30 m grain across a 3100 km2 landscape in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (Central Europe). We summarized the percentage of disturbed area that recovered to > 40% tree cover and > 5 m stand height and quantified the variability in both indicators over a 30-year period. The analyses were stratified by three management regimes (managed, protected, strictly protected) and two forest types (beech-dominated, spruce-dominated). We found that on average 84% of the disturbed area met our recovery threshold 30 years post-disturbance. The rate of recovery was slower in un-managed compared to managed forests. Variability in tree cover was more persistent over time in un-managed forests, while managed forests strongly converged after a few decades post-disturbance. We conclude that current management facilitates the recovery of forest structure in Central European forest ecosystems. However, our results underline that forests recovered well from disturbances also in the absence of human intervention. Our analysis highlights the high resilience of Central European forest ecosystems to recent disturbances.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyzed the impacts of urbanization on bird diversity, stratified to native and exotic species, and found a non-linear response to urbanization for both species richness and Shannon diversity.
Abstract: Urbanization fragments and destroys natural landscapes, generally decreasing bird diversity. While in some cases bird diversity continuously decreases in response to urbanization, in others a non-linear response is evident, with peak bird diversity observed at intermediate levels of urbanization. But many studies previously investigating this pattern are spatially or temporally constrained. In this study, we analyzed the impacts of urbanization on bird diversity, stratified to native and exotic species. We specifically investigated the differences in bird diversity between natural and urban green areas. We used eBird citizen science data (> 4,000,000 bird-survey lists) and remotely-sensed landcover data, throughout the contiguous United States of America. We found a non-linear response to urbanization for both species richness and Shannon diversity. There was distinctly greater bird richness and Shannon diversity in urban green areas compared to natural green areas. Our observed response is likely explained by an increase in habitat heterogeneity of urban green areas compared with natural green areas. Our work highlights the importance of diverse urban green areas for supporting bird diversity in urban areas. We recommend that urban planning should focus on maintaining high habitat heterogeneity in urban green areas to promote greater bird diversity.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the siting, construction and maintenance of individual Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) platforms, and (2) them as a distributed infrastructure for place-based transdisciplinary research with focus on the European continent are evaluated.
Abstract: Place-based transdisciplinary research involves multiple academic disciplines and non-academic actors. Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) platform is one concept with ~ 80 initiatives globally. As an exercise in learning through evaluation we audited (1) the siting, construction and maintenance of individual LTSER platforms, and (2) them as a distributed infrastructure for place-based transdisciplinary research with focus on the European continent. First, we defined a normative model for ideal performance at both platform and network levels. Second, four surveys were sent out to the 67 self-reported LTSER platforms officially listed at the end of 2016. Third, with a focus on the network level, we analyzed the spatial distribution of both long-term ecological monitoring sites within LTSER platforms, and LTSER platforms across the European continent. Fourth, narrative biographies of 18 platforms in different stages of development were analyzed. While the siting of LTSER platforms represented biogeographical regions well, variations in land use history and democratic governance were not well represented. Platform construction was based on 2.1 ecological monitoring sites, with 72% ecosystem and 28% social system research. Maintenance of a platform required three to five staff members, focused mostly on ecosystem research, was based mainly on national funding, and had 1–2 years of future funding secured. Networking with other landscape approach concepts was common. Individually, and as a network, LTSER platforms have good potential for transdisciplinary knowledge production and learning about sustainability challenges. To improve the range of variation of Pan-European social–ecological systems we encourage interfacing with other landscape approach concepts.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a conceptual framework is developed to facilitate the study and governance of multiple ecosystem services in agricultural social-ecological landscapes, and a case study is presented to illustrate how methods from different disciplines can be combined to operationalize the conceptual framework.
Abstract: While the concept of ecosystem services (ES) is well established in the scientific and policy arenas, its operationalization faces many challenges. Indeed, ES supply, demand and flow are related to ecological and social processes at multiple space and time scales, leading to complex interactions in the provision of multiple ES. To develop a conceptual framework (CF) to facilitate the study and governance of multiple ES in agricultural social-ecological landscapes. We examined the ecological and social literatures to identify how approaches at the landscape level contribute to a better understanding of ES supply, demand and flow in agricultural systems. After detailing our CF, we use a case study to illustrate how methods from different disciplines can be combined to operationalize our CF. The literature suggests that the landscape level is likely to be the level of organization that will make it possible to (i) integrate different components of ES co-production, i.e. ecological processes, agricultural practices and social structures, (ii) understand interactions between stakeholders, including ES co-producers and beneficiaries, (iii) explicit ES trade-offs, i.e. social choices between ES. The production of multiple ES at the landscape level involves different types of interdependencies among ES co-producers and beneficiaries. These need to be addressed in concerted and integrated ways to achieve sustainable and equitable governance of agricultural landscapes.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The potential of the ecosystem services concept to act as a boundary concept (new Esperanto) to facilitate the integration of actors' perceptions and objectives into planning goals is explored in this article.
Abstract: Several case studies investigated the role of ecosystem services in participatory planning processes. However, no systematic study exists that cuts across a large number of empirical cases to identify the implications of using ecosystem services in participatory planning. This study explores the potential of the ecosystem services concept to act as a boundary concept (“new Esperanto”) to facilitate the integration of actors’ perceptions and objectives into planning goals. We analyzed eleven case studies to explore how the ecosystem services concept has been operationalized to support participatory planning processes, and to identify lessons from successful applications. We characterized the case studies according to contextual and methodological criteria. Each case study was assessed through a codified score card method in order to detect success or failure criteria in using the ecosystem services concept in participatory planning. We compared the case study criteria with the results of the balanced score card method. We identified several positive effects of applying the ecosystem services concept in participatory planning, including the facilitation of knowledge sharing and consideration of local experiences, the support towards a shared vision, and the increased awareness among local actors concerning their role as ecosystem services suppliers or beneficiaries. Among the drawbacks, we identified the risk of overemphasizing specific ecosystem goods or services during the process. We conclude by providing some recommendations to enhance future practice related to issues such as communication, use of local knowledge and integration of ecosystem services in existing legal instruments.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors address how different interpretations of landscape can support knowledge production about ecosystems, and how applying landscape approaches on the ground can encourage more collaborative and sustainable land management alternatives.
Abstract: The ecosystem services framework aims to encourage ecological sustainability through political-economic decisions. However, it fails to capture the complexity of social–ecological interactions. This is an obstacle for coping with current grand challenges through integrative knowledge production and collaborative learning. Landscape concepts and approaches, which emphasize human–environment interactions, governance and stewardship, can help overcome this obstacle. In particular, landscape concepts and approaches can help resolve the integrative and operational gaps encountered in the ecosystem services framework as a means of communicating evidence-based knowledge about the state and trends of ecosystems. The goal of this Special Issue is to address how different interpretations of landscape can support knowledge production about ES, and how applying landscape approaches on the ground can encourage more collaborative and sustainable land management alternatives. The effectiveness of the ecosystem services framework can be improved by (1) the use of landscape concepts to build bridges to different disciplines, arts and practice, as well as to build SMART sustainability indicators, and (2) the application of holistic landscape approaches for place-based knowledge co-production and collaborative learning across multiple governance levels. This forms the base for a research infrastructure integrating methods from the natural and social sciences through macroecology, comparative politics, and regional studies. While place-based research using landscape concepts can help develop more sustainable alternatives for land management, scaling up landscape approach initiatives towards landscape stewardship and fostering collaborations among initiatives are paramount challenges.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results show that the scale of effect of a landscape variable on a given species can differ for different response variables, and suggest that these differences in the Scale of effect are not predictable.
Abstract: To detect an effect of landscape context on a species’ response, the landscape variables need to be measured within the appropriate distance from the species’ response, i.e. at the scale of effect. However, it is not clear what factors determine the scale of effect. Our objective was to test the prediction that the scale of effect should be smallest when the species’ response is fecundity, larger for abundance, and larger still for occurrence. We compared the scale of effect of two landscape variables (road density, forest proportion) on the three responses (fecundity, abundance, occurrence) for the wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) in eastern Ontario, Canada. We used egg mass surveys of 34 ponds to estimate fecundity (mean eggs/mass), abundance (number of masses), and occurrence (presence/absence of egg masses). We then empirically estimated the scale of effect of each landscape variable on each response. The scale of effect differed among responses, from 0.2 to 3.0 km radii; however, it did not vary in the predicted order. Furthermore, the order was not consistent between the two landscape variables. Our results show that the scale of effect of a landscape variable on a given species can differ for different response variables. However, they also suggest that these differences in the scale of effect are not predictable. Thus, the most reliable way to ensure a landscape context study is conducted at the correct spatial extent is to estimate the scale of effect empirically, rather than ‘guesstimating’ the extent a priori.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, structural composition, connectivity and fragmentation of the tree canopy network were assessed using morphological spatial pattern and network analysis, and the authors found that back yards contained the highest number of canopy fragments (48.65% total).
Abstract: Tree canopy connectivity is important for supporting biodiversity. In urban landscapes, empirical examinations of habitat connectivity often overlook residential land, though yards and gardens often comprise a large portion of urban forests. We quantify structural composition (patches and paths), connectivity and fragmentation of an entire tree canopy network spanning 1220 Boston’s neighborhoods to assess the configuration of the urban forest potentially affecting tree-dependent wildlife species, such as some birds and arboreal mammals. The urban landscape was classified by land use, and residential yards were further subdivided into front yards, backyards, and corner yards. Structural composition, connectivity and fragmentation of the tree canopy was assessed using morphological spatial pattern and network analysis. Canopy metrics were then related to the land use of 349,305 property parcels. Back yard tree canopy cover was 65.23%. The majority of canopy links were on residential land (60.95% total), and particularly in backyards. Back yards contained the highest number of canopy fragments (48.65% total). Fragmentation of the canopy network peaked at ~ 23% of total canopy cover. Canopy fragmentation, distance among patches and their shape complexity were lower in neighborhoods with more tree canopy. The important role that yards have in sustaining canopy connectivity across urban landscapes poses challenges and opportunities. Urban land management and planning need to protect connectivity links within urban forests when located on private residential realm. A prioritization strategy aimed at expanding urban tree cover could focus on yards to ensure that urban landscape connectivity is maintained and increased.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the influence of landscape connectivity on the dispersal of plants in agricultural landscapes has been investigated and it has been found that landscape connectivity has a varying and complex influence on the composition and diversity of plant communities.
Abstract: Context Fragmentation in agricultural landscapes is considered as a major threat to biodiversity. Thus, ecological corridors are deployed at multiple scales to increase connectivity. However, there is limited consensus about their efficiency, especially for plants. Objectives We assimilated existing knowledge to assess whether and how landscape connectivity impacts plant communities. Methods We reviewed published literature across more than 20 years, providing an overview on the influence of connectivity on plant communities. Results We found that landscape connectivity has a varying and complex influence on the composition and diversity of plant communities (i.e. community taxonomic structure), due to the multiplicity of factors that modulate its effect. Our understanding of how of landscape connectivity impacts the dispersal of plants is improved by using biological traits (i.e. community functional structure). Finally, we showed that landscape connectivity promotes actual dispersal between connected communities. Conclusions This review emphasises the pertinence of trait-based and actual dispersal approaches to improve our understanding and ability to predict the effect of connectivity loss on plant communities, allowing us to identify new prospects for future research.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used the Mexican spotted owl as a case study to demonstrate how models developed from different geographic areas affect their predictions for habitat suitability, landscape resistance, and connectivity.
Abstract: Habitat loss and fragmentation are the most pressing threats to biodiversity, yet assessing their impacts across broad landscapes is challenging. Information on habitat suitability is sometimes available in the form of a resource selection function model developed from a different geographical area, but its applicability is unknown until tested. We used the Mexican spotted owl as a case study to demonstrate how models developed from different geographic areas affect our predictions for habitat suitability, landscape resistance, and connectivity. We identified the most suitable habitats and core areas for dispersal and movement for the species. We applied two multi-scale habitat selection models—a local model and a non-local model—to a broad study area in northern Arizona. We converted the models into landscape resistance surfaces and used simulations to model connectivity corridors for the species, and created composite habitat and connectivity models by averaging the local and non-local models. While the local and the non-local models both performed well, the local model performed best in the part of the study area where it was built, but performed worse in areas that are beyond the extent of the data used to train it. The composite habitat model improved performances over both models in most cases. With rigorous testing, multi-scale habitat selection models built on empirical data from other geographical areas can be useful. Averaging predictions of multiple models can improve performance, but the effectiveness is subject to the performance of the reference models.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper evaluated the impacts of climate change on the ability of ecosystem-based forest management (EBFM) to reduce discrepancies between current and presettlement forest conditions in southeastern Canada using early land-survey data as well as projections from a forest landscape model (LANDIS-II) under four climate change scenarios and four management scenarios.
Abstract: Forest landscapes at the boreal–temperate ecotone have been extensively altered. Reducing the gap between current and presettlement forest conditions through ecosystem-based forest management (EBFM) is thought to enhance ecological integrity. However, climate change may interfere with this goal and make these targets unrealistic. We evaluated the impacts of climate change on the ability of EBFM to reduce discrepancies between current and presettlement forest conditions in southeastern Canada. We used early-land-survey data as well as projections from a forest landscape model (LANDIS-II) under four climate change scenarios and four management scenarios to evaluate future discrepancies between presettlement forest conditions and future forest landscapes. By triggering swift declines in most late-succession boreal conifer species biomass, climate change would greatly reduce the ability of forest management to reduce the gap with presettlement forest composition, especially under severe anthropogenic climate forcing. Scenarios assuming extensive clearcutting also favor aggressive competitor species that have already increased with high historical harvest levels (e.g., poplars, maples). EBFM would still be the “less bad” forest harvesting strategy in order to mitigate composition discrepancies with the presettlement forests, though it is likely to fail under severe climate forcing. In this latter case, one might thus question the relevancy of using presettlement forest composition as a target for restoring degraded forest landscapes. As such, we advocate that managers should relax the centrality of the reference condition and focus on functional restoration rather than aiming at reducing the gaps with presettlement forest composition per se.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The most frequently used accuracy metric in Earth resource remote sensing is overall accuracy, but the inherent properties of this accuracy metric make it inappropriate as the single metric for map assessment, particularly when a map contains imbalanced categories.
Abstract: Image classification is routine in a variety of disciplines, and analysts rely on accuracy metrics to evaluate the resulting maps. The most frequently used accuracy metric in Earth resource remote sensing is overall accuracy. However, the inherent properties of this accuracy metric make it inappropriate as the single metric for map assessment, particularly when a map contains imbalanced categories. We discuss four noteworthy problems with overall accuracy. Under circumstances frequently encountered, overall accuracy is misleading or misinterpreted. Literature review, hypothetical examples, and mathematic equations are used to prove overall accuracy is a poor general indicator of map quality. Any research that involves classification techniques or a map product that is evaluated only with overall accuracy may be unreliable. It is necessary for map providers to publish the error matrix and its development procedure so that map users can computer whatever metrics as they wish.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explored the potential benefits of PGIS/PPGIS approaches for landscape management and stewardship among the participating stakeholders and established an understanding of the realization of landscape services at the local scale across three multifunctional rural landscapes in Tanzania.
Abstract: Local scale assessments of ecosystem/landscape services in Africa are insufficient and lack relevance in landscape management. Also, few studies have explored the potential benefits of PGIS/PPGIS approaches for landscape management and stewardship among the participating stakeholders. Our aim is (1) to establish an understanding of the realization of landscape services at the local scale across three multifunctional rural landscapes in Tanzania through PGIS/PPGIS approaches and (2) to create an understanding of these approaches’ potential to support participatory spatial planning. Semi-structured surveys (n = 313) including participatory mapping of provisioning and cultural landscape services were organised to characterise their spatial patterns. The survey results were shared with the communities (n = 97) in workshops where services were ranked and the participants interviewed about their map-reading capacity, personal learning experiences, and their ability to use maps to express opinions. The most abundant landscape services are sites for social gatherings and cultivation. The spatial patterns of provisioning services are realizations of human benefits from the patterns of the biophysical landscape. Overall, cultural landscape services show clustering and small spatial extent (except aesthetics). The PGIS/PPGIS approach allows for local-level, spatially specific discussions between stakeholders. The visual power of maps and satellite images is particularly emphasised. In the data-scarce context common in the Global South, the participatory mapping of landscape services has the potential to advance understanding of the benefits that the landscape has for the local communities and how this information, when mapped spatially, can be integrated with local-level planning practices.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors identify which temperature variables best explain the landscape-scale distribution of forest vegetation and disentangle the effects of elevation, terrain attributes and canopy cover on understorey temperatures.
Abstract: Forest microclimates differ from regional macroclimates because forest canopies affect energy fluxes near the ground. However, little is known about the environmental drivers of understorey temperature heterogeneity and its effects on species assemblages, especially at landscape scales. We aimed to identify which temperature variables best explain the landscape-scale distribution of forest vegetation and to disentangle the effects of elevation, terrain attributes and canopy cover on understorey temperatures. We measured growing season air temperature, canopy cover and plant community composition within 46 plots established across a 400-km2 area in Czech Republic. We linked growing season maximum, mean and minimum temperatures with elevation, canopy cover and topographic proxies for heat load, topographic position, soil moisture and cold air drainage, and created fine-scale topoclimatic maps of the region. We compared the biological relevance of in situ measured temperatures and temperatures derived from fine-scaled topoclimatic maps and global WorldClim 2 maps. Maximum temperature was the best predictor of understorey plant species composition. Landscape-scale variation in maximum temperature was jointly driven by elevation and terrain topography ( $$R_{{{\text{adj}}.}}^{2}$$ = 0.79) but not by canopy cover. Modelled maximum temperature derived from our topoclimatic maps explained significantly more variation in plant community composition than WorldClim 2 grids. Terrain topography creates landscape-scale variation in maximum temperature, which in turn controls plant species assembly within the forest understorey. Maximum temperature is therefore an important but neglected microclimatic driver of species distribution across landscapes.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate how anticipated climate change in coming decades could trigger abrupt changes in the biomass of dominant species in Canada's boreal forests, including needleleaf evergreen (softwood) to broadleaf deciduous (hardwood) taxa.
Abstract: The Canadian boreal forest provides valuable ecosystem services that are regionally and globally significant. Despite its importance, the future of the Canadian boreal forest is highly uncertain because potential impacts of future climate change on ecosystem processes and biomass stocks are poorly understood. We investigate how anticipated climatic changes in coming decades could trigger abrupt changes in the biomass of dominant species in Canada’s boreal forests. Using the dynamic global vegetation model LPJ-LMfire, which was parameterized for the dominant tree genera in Canada’s boreal forests (Picea, Abies, Pinus, Populus) and driven by a large range of climate scenarios grouped by two forcing scenarios (RCP 4.5/8.5), we simulated forest composition, biomass, and the frequency of disturbance, including wildfire, from Manitoba to Newfoundland. Results suggest that responses of this region to a warmer future climate will be very important, especially in southern boreal areas and under the RCP 8.5 forcing scenario. In these areas, reductions of total aboveground biomass incurred by fire and heat-induced tree mortality events are projected; the fertilizing effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 on forest productivity is unlikely to compensate for these losses. Decreases in total forest stocks would likely be associated with forest cover loss and a shift in composition in particular from needleleaf evergreen (softwood) to broadleaf deciduous (hardwood) taxa. The simulated future reduction in softwood biomass suggests that forest management strategies will have to be adapted to maintain a sustainable level of forest harvest and tree density that meets demands for wood products, while maintaining other ecosystem services.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: These recently developed methods can be regarded as first steps in the computation of Boltzmann entropy for landscapes, and future research is recommended to improve the computation and to apply Boltzman entropy in the thermodynamic understanding of landscape dynamics.
Abstract: A key goal of landscape ecology is to understand landscape ecological processes across space and through time, with reference to the central organizing principles of nature. Towards this goal, Boltzmann (or thermodynamic) entropy has been widely used in a conceptual way to link these processes to thermodynamic laws, but it has seldom been computed because of a lack of feasible methods since its formulation in 1872. This situation will probably change because such methods have been developed very recently. To present a timely, comprehensive review and an analysis of such methods. A systematic survey of the efforts to compute the Boltzmann entropy of a landscape was performed. The consistency of different computational methods was investigated. In the review, two classes of methods were identified. The methods were developed from distinct ideas, apply to different landscape models (landscape mosaics and gradients), and result in different Boltzmann entropies. Thus, a general method for both landscape models would be desirable for consistent thermodynamic interpretations. Towards this goal, an approach was suggested to extend the method for mosaics to gradients or vice versa. Possible strategies for both extensions were theoretically analyzed and experimentally tested. Problems of each extension were revealed. These recently developed methods can be regarded as first steps in the computation of Boltzmann entropy for landscapes. This computation still requires much attention. Future research is recommended to improve the computation and to apply Boltzmann entropy in the thermodynamic understanding of landscape dynamics.

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TL;DR: Herrero-Jauregui et al. as mentioned in this paper describe the evolution of the human brain and its relationship with ecology and evolution in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology. Complutense University of Madrid.
Abstract: Fil: Herrero-Jauregui, Cristina. Complutense University of Madrid. Ecology and Evolution. Department of Biodiversity; Espana

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a systematic approach for measuring progress toward landscape sustainability goals, based on existing literature and their experiences in applying the approach to support more sustainable agricultural landscapes.
Abstract: There is widespread consensus about the need for landscape sustainability but little agreement about how to define or measure it. The aim of the paper is to present a systematic approach for measuring progress toward landscape sustainability goals. The approach was developed based on existing literature and our experiences in applying the approach to support more sustainable agricultural landscapes. Examples applying this approach are summarized for case studies in the United States (U.S.) and Mexico. The approach has six steps: the scope and objectives of the assessment are determined based on the particular context; indicators that alert pending concerns are selected and prioritized based on utility and relevance; baselines and targets are established for each indicator, and scenarios for consideration are determined; the indicator values are obtained and evaluated; trends in and tradeoffs among indicator values are analyzed; and good practices are developed, applied, and assessed. Insights gained from applying this approach suggest that designing sustainable landscapes depends on stakeholder engagement, effective communication, transparency and trust, timely monitoring, and continual improvement. Iterative application of the assessment approach builds capacity and promotes continual improvements in management practices, thus enabling timely responses to changing conditions while still progressing toward a set of locally defined goals.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated how potential light-reduction scenarios at conurbation scale change landscape connectivity for bats and assessed the relative importance of light pollution on bat presence probability and activity.
Abstract: Light pollution can alter animal movements and landscape connectivity. This is particularly true in urban landscapes where a need to incorporate conservation issues in urban planning is urgent. We investigated how potential light-reduction scenarios at conurbation scale change landscape connectivity for bats. Through random stratified sampling and species distribution modelling, we assessed the relative importance of light pollution on bat presence probability and activity. We recorded bats during one entire night on each 305 sampling points in 2015. In 2016, we surveyed 94 supplementary points to evaluate models performance. We used our spatial predictions to characterize landscape resistance to bat movements. Then we applied a least-cost modelling approach to identify nocturnal corridors and estimated the impact of five light-reduction scenarios on landscape connectivity for two light non-tolerant bat species. We found that light pollution detected from satellite images was a good predictor of bat presence and activity up to 700 m radius. Our results exhibited contrasting responses to average radiance: M. daubentonii responded negatively, P. nathusii had a positive response for low values then a negative response after a threshold radiance value of 20 W.m−2.sr−1 and E. serotinus responded positively. Five and four light-reduction scenarios significantly improved landscape connectivity for M. daubentonii and P. nathusii respectively. Light-reduction measures should be included in urban planning to provide sustainable conditions for bats in cities. We advocate for the use of our methodological approach to further studies to find the best trade-off between conservation needs and social acceptability.