Applied Landscape Ecology (15 Credits)

The biodiversity we seek to protect within the broad landscape of near-natural and modified ecosystems is inextricably linked to human behaviour and land use practices. Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary area of study that has its origins in conservation biology, and it attempts to make sense of spatial patterns in nature at a variety of scales. An integral part of this discipline is the links it makes between natural processes, species survival and anthropogenic landscapes. This module will examine the spatial pattern or structure of a range of landscapes from the near-natural to the artificial or grossly modified. Specifically, it will examine the relationships between pattern, process and change. It will also evaluate landscape fragmentation and examine how landscape components can be vulnerable or resilient. Current land use practices are the main drivers of change to natural ecosystems, and through the use of case studies this module will examine and evaluate the impacts of human activity on natural processes and components of biodiversity.