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From Ecosystem Ecology to Landscape Ecology: a Progression Calling for a Well-founded Research and Appropriate Disillusions

Author(s): Ireneo Ferrari | Alessandro Ferrarini

Journal: Landscape Online
ISSN 1865-1542

Volume: 6;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Landscape Ecology | Ecosystem Ecology | Issues In Progress | Research Challenges

In this paper, 1) a delineation of main theoretical, methodological and applicative issues of landscape ecology, 2) a comparison between landscape and ecosystem ecology, 3) a critical overview of actual limits of landscape ecology, are depicted. We conclude that: a) from a theoretical viewpoint, ecosystem and landscape ecology differ since they deal with ecological topics having very different spatial and temporal scales, b) from a practical standpoint, they deal with dissimilar purposes emerging both from unlike research scales and different approaches, as the interest of landscape ecology is mainly focused on the whole ecological mosaic rather than on single components, in this view assuming an “horizontal” ecological perspective, c) transdisciplinarity is still a work in progress in landscape ecology, d) several research purposes in landscape ecology are far from being reached, e) a bridge lacks between the “horizontal” perspective adopted from landscape ecology and the “vertical” approach distinctive of ecosystem ecology, therefore, they actually behave as detached disciplines. However, in our vision, landscape ecology contains the seeds for becoming a self-contained scientific discipline as well as the interface among the distinct sectors of environmental research and planning.
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