Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Services - (15 Credits)

Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary area of study emerging from the best principles of environmental biology, and deals with the spatial variation in landscapes at a variety of scales. At its core landscape ecology links natural sciences with related societal, cultural and design disciplines. This module will examine the spatial pattern or structure of a range of landscapes from wilderness to cities, particularly in relation to conservation biology. It will analyse the relationship between pattern, process and change. It will evaluate landscape fragmentation and examine how landscape components can be vulnerable or robust. The module will also be concerned with the relationship of human activity and landscape, in particular the services derived from ecosystems and how humans affect the provision ecosystem goods and services. It will deal with societal drivers of change and the effects of human activity on landscape pattern. It will help planners, designers, and managers deal with fragmented landscapes to establish priorities within a more sustainable framework. It will provide the holistic and interdisciplinary approach needed to make informed judgments about strategies for conservation/preservation, enhancement, re-creation and recovering and new landscapes.