Resource management in a diverse landscape is inherently difficult. It involves balancing complex requirements and issues. Landscape science offers a useful framework for considering many resource management issues that often are in conflict. Landscape science integrates these multiple resources and management objectives in a rigorous and coherent manner, fundamentally a landscape ecology problem. Local management decisions should be guided by the broader ecological and social contexts in which the project exists. Climate change, fire, invasive species, insect and disease outbreaks, managing endangered species, and human-environment interactions are examples of resource management issues that can benefit from applying the science of landscape ecology.
The Center for Landscape Science, part of the Forest and Woodland Ecosystems Science Program, promotes communication, coordination, and synergy among scientists engaged in landscape ecology research with the aim to increase scientific productivity. The center develops, synthesizes, and delivers knowledge in the areas of landscape ecology, genetics, climate change, disturbance regimes, monitoring, conservation, and adaptive management.
The Center for Landscape Science has six focal research areas:
Modeling: Predicting changes to the distribution, abundance, and connectivity among multiple plant and animal populations inhabiting managed and natural landscapes.
Experiments: Studying the effects of natural and human-caused disturbances including invasive species on the structure and function of ecosystems that comprise landscapes of interest.
Monitoring: Developing advanced scientific methods for multiple-resource monitoring to support adaptive management.
Tool development: Developing decision support tools for simulating landscape dynamics, quantifying landscape patterns, and communicating our understanding of landscape processes.
Landscape genetics: Studying population genetics and evolution in spatially complex and non-equilibrium environments.
Spatial optimization: Identifying landscape layouts that best meet management objectives.