Special Issue "Landscape Perspectives on Environmental Conservation"
A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2013
Prof. Dr. Kenneth R. Young
Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Phone: +1 512 232 1583
Interests: biogeography; environmental conservation; developing countries; tropical ecosystems; protected areas; Latin America, biodiversity; climate change; landscape change
Environmental conservation covers a wide range of topics including human impacts on natural environments, the use of natural resources, sustainability, and biodiversity concerns. A productive way to implement the study and evaluation of environmental changes to the Earth’s land cover is by taking a landscape perspective, which provides many additional advantages for researchers and practitioners. This special issue will provide a forum for papers that address and illuminate landscape approaches to the study and management of environmental change. Humans often interact with their environment at a landscape scale, so this perspective is a useful, even necessary way to study the Anthropocene.
Landscape perspectives may draw from the field of landscape ecology, which is typically focused on ecological processes and phenomena in areas that are ten to hundreds of kilometers in size, and that show heterogeneity in some feature of interest to researchers or conservationists. This approach characterizes the land mosaic in terms of its land cover composition, the spatial arrangement of the patches and corridors, the dynamics of the mosaic’s elements, and the use of the mosaic by organisms. A landscape approach may also be informed by a watershed perspective, which defines the portion of the Earth’s surface of interest in terms of hydrological connectivity as water moves from the atmosphere to and through the land surface. Some innovative approaches may examine the movement of genes through landscapes, the effects of habitat fragmentation on species of concern, the role of disturbance regimes in changing landscapes, the means for assessing ecological restoration, ecological modeling, and planning for landscape design under different land use or climate change scenarios.
Dr. Kenneth R. Young
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.
- disturbance regime
- habitat fragmentation
- human impact
- landscape change
- landscape heterogeneity
Article: Incorporating Topography into Landscape Continuity Analysis—Hong Kong Island as a Case Study
Land 2013, 2(4), 550-572; doi:10.3390/land2040550
Received: 25 July 2013; in revised form: 22 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 16 October 2013| Download PDF Full-text (3080 KB) | Download XML Full-text
Article: The Impacts of Weather and Conservation Programs on Vegetation Dynamics in China’s Loess Plateau
Land 2013, 2(4), 573-594; doi:10.3390/land2040573
Received: 31 August 2013; in revised form: 29 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013| Download PDF Full-text (1255 KB) | Download XML Full-text
Land 2013, 2(4), 705-725; doi:10.3390/land2040705
Received: 12 September 2013; in revised form: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013| Download PDF Full-text (1097 KB) | Download XML Full-text
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: An Urban Landscape Perspective (Feature Paper)
Author: Frederick Steiner
Affiliation: School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station B7500, Austin, TX 78712-0222, USA; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Cities present significant opportunities for new landscape perspectives that can help inform conservation and development decisions. Early in the twenty-first century, the majority of the planet’s population became urban as more people lived in city-regions for the first time in our history. As the global population increases, so does this urbanization. The environmental challenges of population and urban growth are profound.Landscapes represent a synthesis of natural and cultural processes. Cities are certainly cultural phenomena. Historically, cities provided refuge from nature. The expanding field of urban ecology, coupled with landscape ecology, can enhance how the dual natural and cultural dimensions of landscapes in cities are understood. Furthermore, concepts such as ecosystem services and green infrastructure are proving useful for urban landscape planning and design. Examples from Austin, Texas, and Brooklyn, New York, are presented.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: Perceptions of Landscape Influence Conservation Decisions
Author: Aaron Ellison
Affiliation: Harvard Forest, Harvard University, 324 North Main Street, Petersham, MA 01366, USA; E-Mail: email@example.com
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Landscape Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Agricultural Environments: Implications for Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Authors: Thomas O. Crist 1,2,* and Valerie E. Peters 1
Affiliations: 1 Institute for the Environment and Sustainability, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA
2 Department of Biology, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA; * E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes may depend strongly on the amount, composition, and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. A loss of biodiversity in landscapes dominated by intensive agriculture may translate into a reduction of ecosystem services, such as pollination or regulation of insect pests. Conservation incentives that create grasslands or forest buffers are known to increase the biodiversity of these beneficial insects, but little is known about how the effectiveness of these efforts varies with surrounding land uses. We studied the variation in species richness and composition of bees and predatory beetles among conservation grasslands surrounded by different land uses in agricultural landscapes of SW Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches (area, age, and plant community composition) and the surrounding landscape (land use / land cover composition and diversity) were used to predict species richness and composition using general linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by grassland area and forb composition, and negatively influenced by the amount of intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape, varying from 12-23 species across these patch- and landscape-level predictors. In contrast, the species richness of predatory beetles was positively influenced by the amount of semi-natural (grassland and pasture), and intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape, with a range of 18-40 species across these land-cover types, suggesting landscape complementarity. The species composition of both insect groups varied with changes in the surrounding land use and land cover. These two groups of beneficial insects showed contrasting responses to patch- and landscape-level features that were consistent with their different patterns of resource use, but the biodiversity of both groups were strongly influenced by broad-scale patterns of land use and land cover. Our results support recent hypotheses on landscape-level controls of biodiversity, and the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level patterns and process in the conservation of biodiversity.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Merging Ecology, History, and Law to Inform Plans to Conserve Native Species in the Wild and Scenic Namekagon River, Wisconsin
Authors: Gary Lamberti, Patrick Shirey et al.
Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA; E-Mails: email@example.com (G.L.); firstname.lastname@example.org (P.S.)
Abstract: The goal of our research is to identify habitat that could serve as thermal refuge for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the wild and scenic Namekagon River of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, Wisconsin. Our research includes three components to inform agency plans for protecting and restoring cold-water habitat and brook trout populations in the face of changing climate. First, we assessed habitat change from pre-logging through the present-day in the headwaters of the Namekagon River and its tributaries by reviewing historical records. Second, we deployed 90 temperature loggers to monitor summer temperatures in 2012 and 2013, and surveyed fish communities and habitat features at 12 sites in 7 Namekagon River tributaries to identify productive brook trout populations. Third, we place the results of our work within the context of regulatory and policy constraints placed on agencies in managing native brook trout in the presence of exotic brown trout. Results will guide NPS and other resource managers in 1) protecting habitat that is thermally suitable for brook trout and other sensitive species, and 2) implementing future restoration projects for habitat that is thermally suitable but not of sufficient quality to sustain brook trout populations, such as spring seeps along channel margins that have been covered by fine sediment.
Type of Paper: Review
Title: Avoiding Cultural Interpretations in Strategies to Rewild European Landscapes
Authors: P R Hobson 1,2,* and P Ibisch 2,3
Affiliations: 1 Writtle College, Chelmsford, UK
2 Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management, Germany
3 Eberswalde University of Sustainable Development, Eberswalde, Germany; * Email: Peter.Hobson@writtle.ac.uk
Abstract: In 2010 an ambitious initiative was launched by WWF Netherlands, Ark Nature and Wild Wonders of Europe to establish by 2020 the rewilding of one million hectares of abandoned land across Europe. The proposed strategy advocates deploying landscape ecosystem approaches in five designated sites including Western Iberia, Danube Delta and Eastern Carpathians. Reintroducing populations of large herbivores into landscapes, in particular, Auroch, Tarpan and Bison, where they had previously been driven to extinction by human intervention is a primary objective of the rewilding Europe initiative. First stages of the project could involve the use of traditional cattle and horse breeds as proxies of their now extinct wild forms. A modern understanding of biodiversity conservation challenges the initiative on two fronts. Early integration of human activity into European post-ice age landscapes has left little or no legacies of wilderness to use as appropriate baselines for rewilding initiatives. Any attempt at back-casting will inevitably draw on received wisdom grounded in traditional cultural practices, which could lead to a retrenchment in conservation as the desire to preserve romantic metaphors of wilderness usurps proactive measures to create a more integrated sustainable partnership between biodiversity and humans. At another level, it can be argued the use of livestock proxies is a form of artificiality and counter-intuitive to principles of wilderness as well as ignorant of evolutionary processes. A more integrated strategy in conservation with the primary objective of rewilding cultural landscapes by providing space for nature to self-order and to operate to its own dynamics is proposed. Complementary practices in sustainable living and land use based on principles of the new concept of “econics” is also advocated. Using the evidence from recent research such a “radical ecosystem” approach advocates the mimicking of natural processes in all forms of human activity, including embracing principles of energy conservation and the need for adaptation to changing circumstances. At large landscape scale, protected areas representing intact ecosystems, and fully connected with both the matrix as well as other natural ecosystems would be included.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Historical landscape perspectives on grasslands in the Baltic region
Authors: Ove Eriksson 1 and Sara Cousins 2
Affiliation: 1 Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden; E-Mail: email@example.com
2 Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: A landscape perspective is generally recognized as essential for conservation of species, communities and habitats. The main underlying reason is that species, and thereby community diversity and composition, respond to features of the landscape manifested at various spatial scales, for example habitat area, connectivity, and structure of matrix habitats. There is also a temporal component of a landscape perspective, and this component, which can be considered as “historical” has not received similar attention. The underlying reasons for historical effects are that humans have influenced landscapes strongly since at least the Neolithic, and that species and communities may respond slowly to land use impacts. This slow response concerns both colonization and extinction processes, the latter effects have been termed “extinction debt”. A historical perspective on landscapes also influences conservation valuation, relating to a discussion of how we perceive “natural” vs. “cultural” landscapes. In this paper, we will review studies on grasslands in the Baltic region in the context of a historical landscape perspective. We use “grasslands” in a broad sense, including wooded meadows and grazed forests. Historical effects are ubiquitous on species distributions and patterns of species richness in grasslands. Understanding this temporal component of landscape effects is essential for developing conservation programs. We also discuss how assumptions of historical baselines affect choices of conservation targets for management and restoration, and how insights on historical effects may inform conservation programs aimed at alleviating effects of current landscape change, for example due to climate change.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Perspectives of Livestock Farmers in an Urbanized Environment
Authors: Ángel Paniagua
Affiliation: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas CSIC, C/ Albasanz n. 26-28, 3D22, E-28037 Madrid, Spain
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to analyze the conflicts, key responses and perspectives over farmland uses and their coexistence with the main dynamics of local and regional land use governance in an (extra)metropolitan rural area.
Agriculture and its conflicts is a traditional debate in contemporary rural geography, associated with the organization and transformation of (cultural) landscapes by social groups. One of the most important areas of research is the perpectives and responses of farmers on the urban–rural fringe. The problems associated with land use change and the varying influences on new uses of traditional landscape introduce new and permanent elements in the management, responses and perspectives of farmers (extensification, changes in the organization of farm, relocalization...). This contribution presents the main results of empirical research in an area near Madrid (Spain). The methodology is mainly qualitative, based on an ethnogeographical approach concerning livestock farmers affected by the urbanization process.
Last update: 18 September 2013