Zerbe. Landscape ecology. An interdisciplinary challenge

Stefan Zerbe*
Facoltà di Scienze e Tecnologie, Libera Università di Bolzano-Bozen

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Key words: Climate change, ecosystem restoration, environmental education, historical landscape ecology, urban ecology.

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Abstract

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Landscape ecology has developed in the past decades towards a modern discipline with a broad range of methodologies. A major characteristic of landscape ecology is its interdisciplinarity which becomes crucial for dealing and solving current environmental questions and problems like, the loss and conservation of biodiversity, the environmental protection and management, the development of sustainable land-use options, the mitigation and adaption to climate change, the desertification, the soil salinization, and the restoration of ecosystem services. In this review, some major aspects of basic and applied landscape ecology of Central Europe are addressed, presenting case studies to exemplify specific current issues. Thus, historical aspects in landscape ecology focusing on the quaternary and recent vegetation, landscape development and the application in environmental education are outlined. Ecosystem and landscape restoration with examples on coastal ecosystems and forests are reviewed. Some aspects of climate change are stated giving an example of NE German coastal landscapes and ecosystems. Finally, urban ecology and its application are discussed. Consequently, applied interdisciplinary landscape ecology can provide concepts, methodologies, and approaches for the solution of environmental questions and problems on the regional and international level.

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