701-1613-01L  Advanced Landscape Research

SemesterAutumn Semester 2019
LecturersJ. Bolliger, M. Bürgi, U. Gimmi, M. Hunziker
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThis course introduces landscapes as socially perceived, spatially and temporally dynamic entities that are shaped by natural and societal factors. Concepts and qualitative and quantitative methods to study landscapes from an ecological, societal and historical perspective are presented. In a term paper students work on a landscape-related topic of their choice.
ObjectiveStudents will:
- learn about concepts and methods to quantify structural and functional connectivity in landscapes, particularly
- be introduced to the topic of landscape genetics and its benefits and (current) limitations for applied conservation
- learn about concepts and methods in scenario-based land-use change modelling

- approach an understanding of landscape as perceived environment
- learn about concepts of landscape preference and related measurement methods
- understand the role of landscape for human well-being
- be introduced into approaches of actively influencing attitudes and behavior as well as related scientific evaluation

- make use of various historical sources to study landscapes and their dynamics
- interpret landscapes as a result of ecological constraints and anthropogenic activities.
Content1. Encompassing concepts and approaches
- European Landscape Convention (ELC)
- Ecosystem Services (ES): introduction and critical evaluation

Thematic topics
2. Ecological approach:
- green infrastructure (e.g., ecological conservation areas)
- landscape connectivity
- landscape genetics and management applications
- concepts of specific quantitative methods: least cost paths, resistance surfaces, Circuitscape, networks (Conefor), land-use change models, various statistical methods

3. Social-science approach:
- principle of landscape as perceived and connoted environment
- theories on landscape preference and place identity
- role of landscapes for recreation, health and well-being
- intervention approaches for influencing attitudes and related behavior
- methods of investigating the human-landscape relationship and evaluating interventions

4. Historical approach:
- land use history of Switzerland (agricultural history, forest and woodland history)
- historical legacies of land use in landscapes and ecosystems
- historic-ecological approaches and applications

5. Land change science:
- modelling future land-use (CLUE, other scenario-based models)
- landscape functions and services
Lecture notesHandouts will be available in the course and for download
Prerequisites / NoticeBasic Landscape Ecology courses at Bachelor level