This book provides important foundational concepts in landscape ecology, with a particular focus on the effects of land use and landscape fragmentation. Building on Forman’s patterns of landscape change, the book cites the McIntyre and Hobbs model of landscape change, which suggests that landscape modification often increases through time. Four broad classes of landscape condition can therefore be identified along a continuum of increasing human landscape modification: intact, variegated, fragmented, and relictual (figure 3). Similarly to Forman’s model, these classes represented correspond to different spatial patterns in the landscape. Therefore, as the extent of human land use increases, the amount of intact habitat decreases and habitat degradation increases. Likewise, as land use extent increases further, fragmented or relictual landscapes become characterized by more sharply defined patch boundaries.
The book also discusses how landscape change differentially affects organisms. Different species perceive and respond to landscape patterns individualistically, which presents the dilemma of how to best evaluate landscape change: from a single species perspective or from an aggregated multi-species perspective. While it is certain that individual species respond uniquely to landscape change, it is not always practical to assess behavioral responses of all species in a given area. If the goal is to determine how the overall pattern of change affects larger assemblages of species, as is often useful from a management perspective, it is often best to consider aggregate measures of multi-species occurrence.
Conclusions: Book provides important foundational concepts in landscape ecology, with a particular focus on the effects of land use patterns and landscape fragmentation.