701-1613-01L  Advanced Landscape Research

Semester Autumn Semester 2013
Lecturers M. Bürgi, F. Kienast, J. Bolliger, U. Gimmi, N. Zimmermann
Periodicity yearly course
Language of instruction English


Abstract This course introduces landscapes as spatially and temporally dynamic entities that are shaped by both natural and cultural-historical elements. Concepts and methods to study and classify landscapes are presented and illustrated using various examples from Switzerland and other countries. In a term paper students work on a Landscape topic of their choice.
Objective Students learn how to...
- make use of historical sources, surveys, inventories and remote sensing data to study landscapes and their evolution
- assess landscape mosaics with quantitative methods (from discrete to continuous)
- classify landscapes and establish a landscape typology
- combine information from ecological, historical and human aspects when analyzing the current and future functions and developments of landscapes.
Content 1. The basics:
Main sources to study landscapes, and land use (different temporal and spatial resolutions):
- historical sources
- surveys and inventories (e.g., CORINE, dry meadows inventory, NFI)
remote sensing data
Landscape classifications:
- assessing landscape mosaics with quantitative methods (discrete - continuous)
- landscape typologies

2. Larger thematic topics
Ecological dimension:
- the role of landscape genetics in landscape management
- landscape fragmentation analysis and its implications for conservation
- ecological remote sensing (not a basic lecture!), including multispectral analyses
- ecological conservation areas and their role in landscape management
Historical dimension in landscapes:
- assessing historical legacies of land use on landscapes and ecosystems
- historic-ecological approaches and applications
- land use history of Switzerland (agricultural history, forest and woodland history)
- agricultural landscapes and their role in landscape management
Human dimension in landscapes:
- human perception of landscapes
- modelling future land-use (CLUE, other scenario-based models)
- landscape functions and goods and services
- management of large conservation areas (parks)
- role of landscapes for recreation and health
Lecture notes Handouts will be available in the course and for download
Prerequisites / Notice Basic Landscape Ecology Courses at Bachelor Level