Newton, A., Hill, R.A., Echeverria, C., Golicher, D., Rey Benayas, J.M., Cayuela, L. and Hinsley, S.A., 2009. Remote sensing and the future of landscape ecology. Progress in Physical Geography, 33 (4), pp. 528-546.
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Landscape ecology focuses on the analysis of spatial pattern and its relationship to ecological processes. As a scientific discipline, landscape ecology has grown rapidly in recent years, supported by developments in GIS and spatial analysis techniques. Although remote sensing data are widely employed in landscape ecology research, their current and potential role have not been evaluated critically. To provide an overview of current practice, 438 research papers published in the journal Landscape Ecology for the years 2004-8 were examined for information about use of remote sensing. Results indicated that only 36% of studies explicitly mentioned remote sensing. Of those studies that did, aerial photographs and images acquired by sensors onboard the Landsat series of satellites were most commonly used, accounting for 46% and 42% of studies respectively. The predominant application of remote sensing data across these studies was for thematic mapping purposes. This suggests that landscape ecologists have been relatively slow to recognise the potential value of recent developments in remote sensing technologies and methods. The review also provided evidence of a frequent lack of key detail in studies recently published in Landscape Ecology, with 75% failing to provide any assessment of uncertainty or error relating to image classification and mapping. It is suggested that the role of remote sensing in landscape ecology might be strengthened by closer collaboration between researchers in the two disciplines and by greater integration of diverse remote sensing data with ecological data. It is also highlighted that a broader focus is available than land cover mapping and the derivation of two-dimensional pattern metrics. This is illustrated by case studies drawn from Latin America (focusing on forest loss and fragmentation) and the UK (focusing on habitat quality for woodland birds). Such an integrated approach might improve the analytical and theoretical rigour of landscape ecology, and be applied usefully to issues of outstanding societal interest, such as the impacts of environmental change on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||biodiversity conservation • ecosystem services • Landsat • spatial dynamics • theory|
|Subjects:||Geography and Environmental Studies|
|Group:||School of Applied Sciences > Centre for Conservation, Ecology and Environmental Change|
|Deposited By:||Dr Ross Hill|
|Deposited On:||08 Oct 2009 08:06|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:15|
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