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  About Landscape Ecology  
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What is landscape ecology?

Landscape ecology, as the name implies, is the study of landscapes; specifically, the study of landscape patterns, the interactions among the elements of pattern, how patterns and interactions change over time, and the consequences (ecological and socio-economic) of these patterns and changes. In addition, landscape ecology involves the application of these principles in the formulation and solving of real-world problems. Landscape ecology is perhaps best distinguished from other ecological disciplines by its focus on: 1) spatial heterogeneity, 2) broader spatial extents than those traditionally studied in ecology, and 3) the role of humans in creating and affecting landscape patterns and process. The central unifying theme of landscape ecology is the interplay of spatial pattern and process. In other words, landscape ecology seeks to understand how spatial pattern affects and is affected by ecological and socio-economic processes.

Link to About Landscape Ecology PDF Document
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Is there a professional society?

Yes. The International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE), and its affiliated regional chapters, such as the US chapter (US-IALE), is the official professional society for the discipline of landscape ecology. Check out the IALE links to to learn more about this organization and access to lots of information about the discipline of landscape ecology.

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Are there other landscape ecology programs?

Yes. There are now many landscape ecology programs around the country and the world. In fact, most of the major land grant universities, as well as many others, now offer training in landscape ecology. Links to just some of these programs are given below, but see the US-IALE website for a more complete listing.

Contact Dr. Kevin McGarigal (see contact information below) to add your landscape ecology site to this list.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655
Email: mcgarigalk@eco.umass.edu

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