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Open AccessArticle

A Land Systems Science Framework for Bridging Land System Architecture and Landscape Ecology: A Case Study from the Southern High Plains

1
Department of Geography, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
2
Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
Resource-use decisions affect the ecological and human components of the coupled human and natural system (CHANS), but a critique of some frameworks is that they do not address the complexity and tradeoffs within and between the two systems. Land system architecture (LA) was suggested to account for these tradeoffs at multiple levels/scales. LA and landscape ecology (LE) focus on landscape structure (i.e., composition and configuration of land-use and land-cover change [LULCC]) and the processes (social-ecological) resulting from and shaping LULCC. Drawing on mixed-methods research in the Southern Great Plains, we develop a framework that incorporates LA, LE, and governance theory. Public land and water are commons resources threatened by overuse, degradation, and climate change. Resource use is exacerbated by public land and water policies at the state- and local-levels. Our framework provides a foundation for investigating the mechanisms of land systems science (LSS) couplings across multiple levels/scales to understand how and why governance impacts human LULCC decisions (LA) and how those LULCC patterns influence, and are influenced by, the underlying ecological processes (LE). This framework provides a mechanism for investigating the feedbacks between and among the different system components in a CHANS that subsequently impact future human design decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: governance; patterns; social-ecological processes; CHANS; High Plains Aquifer Region; Ogallala governance; patterns; social-ecological processes; CHANS; High Plains Aquifer Region; Ogallala
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Vadjunec, J.M.; Frazier, A.E.; Kedron, P.; Fagin, T.; Zhao, Y. A Land Systems Science Framework for Bridging Land System Architecture and Landscape Ecology: A Case Study from the Southern High Plains. Land 2018, 7, 27.

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