Experimentation in landscape ecology
DOI link for Experimentation in landscape ecology
Experimentation in landscape ecology book
Landscape ecology has a rich history of experiments, and many opportunities for improving landscape theory can be achieved through experimentation. Nevertheless, the design and creation of landscape experiments are frequently considered more challenging than in other subdisciplines of ecology. Here, I describe three broad categories of landscape ecological experiments that have been repeatedly used within landscape ecology: identification of landscape structure, evaluation of the effects of landscape structure on ecological processes, and evaluation of processes causing landscape change. Among experimental approaches, a key distinction is whether experiments manipulate the landscape itself or manipulate the conditions within and throughout a landscape. In maximizing the benefits of landscape experimental approaches, trade-offs provide important constraints for the usefulness of different experiments to achieve specific goals. Coupling experiments with other approaches, including environmental sensing and modeling, can be valuable complementary approaches. In the context of landscape experiments, models can be used both to assist in designing experiments and to extrapolate results from the experiment. Within landscape ecology, experiments provide a powerful approach for testing hypotheses of pattern–process relationships and can also catalyze expanded collaborations and field research infrastructure.