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Landscape Ecology

Landscape Ecology

This “Special Topic”-Module lies outside the regular FEM curriculum and introduces the major concepts, approaches and methods of landscape ecology, and its applications in wildlife ecology and conservation biology.




  • Why Landscape Ecology? Module: Objectives are to learn abut the status of knowledge of students, to provide a context for what landscape ecology is, and to establish a conceptual basis for understanding ‘causality’ in ecology.


  • Context for Ecology module: Objectives are to explain the human tendencies that influence how scientists do science, and to address the issue of how scientific ‘rigor’ is defined for smaller scale studies and what problems arise when one tries to do larger, landscape scale studies.
  • Hierarchy module: Objectives are to explain the underlying basis for ecological organization caling
  • Concepts module: Objectives are to explain the critical concept of scale, present pertinent definitions and terminology, illustrate scale problems, and relate to hierarchy theory.
  • Fractal Dimensions module: Objectives are to introduce the idea of dimensions (especially fractal dimensions) as power scaling laws that allow one to understand the concept of scaling organisms to their environment, and as a new way of viewing the natural world.
  • Understanding Fragmentation Metrics module: Objectives are to introduce the students to methods of quantifying properties of fragmented landscapes.
  •  Landscape Elements and Pattern module: Objectives are to illustrate the fundamental elements in a landscape, to address the idea of landscape pattern, and to encourage students to think about when and whether landscape heterogeneity has effects on animal populations.
  • Habitat Fragmentation module: Objectives are to illustrate that the concept of habitat fragmentation is broader than originally conceived, to put into perspective the question of what aspect of pattern (habitat area or spatial configuration) is most important in structuring animal populations, and to illustrate the idea of ‘landscape connectivity’ from an organism standpoint.
  • Disturbance Regimes module: Objectives are to place into perspective small and large scale causes that structure populations and influence vital statistics and survivorship.
  • Landscape Pattern and Metapopulations module: Objectives are to illustrate and probe the relationship between landscape pattern and metapopulation dynamics.