Landscape Ecology

, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 1109–1113 | Cite as

Landscape ecology meets landscape science

  • Julian Helfenstein
  • Lea Bauer
  • Aline Clalüna
  • Janine Bolliger
  • Felix Kienast


Landscape ecology is a broad field in a patchwork of related disciplines. Giving landscape ecology a definition and delimiting it from related research areas is both a challenge and a necessity. Past endeavors have focused on expert opinions, analyses of published papers, and conference proceedings. We used a mix of all three, including a unique keyword analysis in two leading landscape-related journals, to highlight latest developments in landscape ecology between 2010 and 2013. Our analysis confirms the key topics of Wu (Landscape Ecol 28(1):1–11, 2013), and suggests that of those connectivity is dominating in terms of research output. However, we also found evidence that the borders of the journal Landscape Ecology are fuzzier than sketched in recent publications. There is a large overlap with the journal Landscape and Urban Planning, and in general a growing weight of conservation, landscape management, and planning related issues in the landscape ecology community. We conclude by encouraging the continued inclusion and strengthening of socio-ecological hot topics such as urban studies and landscape-human interactions in landscape ecological studies and subsequently in the journal landscape ecology.


Landscape ecology Core questions Key topics Future direction Connectivity Urban studies Planning Management 



All analyses and calculations were done using the statistical program R (R Core Team 2013). The word clouds were made with Tagxedo, <> (Accessed March 17, 2014). We would like to thank Jianguo Wu and two anonymous reviewers for insightful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Helfenstein
    • 1
  • Lea Bauer
    • 1
  • Aline Clalüna
    • 1
  • Janine Bolliger
    • 2
  • Felix Kienast
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Terrestrial EcosystemsSwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) ZurichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Swiss Federal Institute for ForestSnow and Landscape Research WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland

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