Landscape Structure, Landscape Metrics and Biodiversity

Ulrich Walz 
Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER)
Weberplatz 1, D-01217 Dresden, Germany


This paper deals with the question of the role landscape metrics can play in the investigation, evaluation and monitoring of landscape structure, and which linkages between landscape structure and biodiversity are known. In the first part, the scientific state of the art is presented; in the second part, the meaning of landscape metrics for nature protection, landscape management and biodiversity monitoring is discussed. A number of studies indicate that such metrics on an aggregated, overall landscape level are quite appropriate to describe the state of biodiversity. On the other hand, gaps in the knowledge become apparent, and the results of such studies are strongly dependent on the scale of investigation and the underlying database. Nevertheless, the landscape structure approach seems to be expedient for management and planning at the landscape level.

Keywords: landscape mosaic, heterogeneity, landscape functions, biological diversity, landscape pattern, spatial planning, landscape management, nature conservation

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