Landscape Ecology: Past, Present, and Future

  • Samuel A. Cushman
  • Jeffrey S. Evans
  • Kevin McGarigal


In the preceding chapters we discussed the central role that spatial and temporal variability play in ecological systems, the importance of addressing these explicitly within ecological analyses and the resulting need to carefully consider spatial and temporal scale and scaling. Landscape ecology is the science of linking patterns and processes across scale in both space and time. Thus landscape ecology is, in a real sense, the foundational science for addressing the central issues of sensitive dependence of ecological process on spatial and temporal variability. This chapter reviews the historical origins and evolution of landscape ecology, discusses its current scope and limitations, and then anticipates the following chapter by looking forward to identify how the field could best expand to address the central challenges of ecological prediction in spatially complex, temporally disequilibrial, multi-scale ecological systems.


Landscape Ecology Habitat Loss Habitat Patch Landscape Pattern Landscape Structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel A. Cushman
    • Jeffrey S. Evans
    • Kevin McGarigal
      • 1
    1. 1.Department of Natural Resources ConservationUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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