What Is A Common Tool For Research In Landscape Ecology?


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become a useful tool in the field of landscape ecology. A common application of GIS is the generation of landscape indicators, which are quantitative measurements of the status or potential health of an area (e.g. ecological region, watershed or county).

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do landscape ecologists study?

Landscape ecology is the study of the pattern and interaction between ecosystems within a region of interest, and the way the interactions affect ecological processes, especially the unique effects of spatial heterogeneity on these interactions.

How is GIS used in landscape ecology?

An ecologist would use GIS to show the number of animal observations in a habitat type, to measure the mean size of habitat fragments, or to monitor movements of animals among habitat patches. Landscape ecologists are often explicitly interested in human roles in ecological systems.

What is landscape ecology used for?

Landscape ecology pertains to the generation and dynamics of ecosystem patterns, as well as the implications of population-, community-, and ecosystem-level process patterns (Urban, 2006). Thus, landscape metrics have been widely used as crucial indicators, in studying sustainable planning and development.

Which is the best GIS tool for landscape ecology?

Our results indicate that (i) all eight GIS provide the basic GIS functionality needed in landscape ecology, (ii) they all facilitate customisation, and (iii) they all provide good support via forums and email lists. Drawbacks that have been identified are related to the fact that most projects are relatively young.

How are free and open source software used in landscape ecology?

Specifically, we introduce the background and terms related to the free and open source software movement, then compare eight FOSS desktop GIS with proprietary GIS to analyse their utility for landscape ecology research. We also provide a summary of related landscape analysis FOSS applications, and extensions.

What should be included in a landscape ecology manuscript?

Manuscripts can be theoretical, applied, or ‘state of the science’ reviews, but should explicitly address scale. Interdisciplinary manuscripts are particularly welcome, as are manuscripts from fields adjacent to landscape ecology, such as geography, macroecology, and spatial science.

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