Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Seminars / Tutorials 2 x 3 hour seminars during semester
Practical 5 x 3 hour practicals during semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment COURSEWORK - 3000 WORD ESSAY  50%
Semester Assessment PRACTICAL REPORT  25%
Semester Assessment PRACTICAL REPORT  25%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the causes and consequences of landscape configuration on ecological processes and patterns of

2. Identify landscape scale processes leading to increased vulnerability or resilience of ecosystems in the face of
environmental change

3. Plan and conduct field campaigns to collect ecological data to incorporate into landscape scale biological

4. Evaluate critically spatial modelling approaches to biodiversity conservation.

Brief description

This module considers the interaction between spatial pattern and ecological processes at the landscape scale. Particular emphasis is placed on UK rural environments, but examples from other ecosystems and biomes will be discussed. Geographical approaches to ecology and biodiversity conservation are introduced in theoretical and practical terms, stressing the important role of landscape composition and structure. Approaches to determining the outcome of projected environmental change will be considered. Computing and remote sensing tools to collect and exploit spatial ecological information are introduced alongside approaches and techniques to take field measurements at the appropriate scales.

The module will enable students to understand the importance of spatial context and spatial relationships at the landscape scale when considering patterns in biodiversity and ecological processes. Students will gain knowledge and practical experience of field, computing and analytical techniques to incorporate this complexity into biodiversity conservation.


Context: Physical, cultural and ecological landscapes
Scale concepts and hierarchy theory in ecology
Causes of landscape pattern: abiotic, biotic, human land-use.
Measuring the land-surface and the role of Earth Observation
Geographic Information Systems.
Spatial analysis: temporal and spatial autocorrelation
Quantitative landscape analysis: pattern metrics, networks
Habitat fragmentation and edge effects
Dispersal and spatial population dynamics in real landscapes
Spatial behavioural ecology
Radio, GPS and satellite telemetry of animal movements
Field survey techniques for landscape ecology
Habitat suitability models
Gap analysis
Modelling landscape change: biological invasions, land-use change, climate
Conservation and management of biodiversity at the landscape scale: scaling up ecological knowledge to units of management and policy.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Quantitative analysis, confidence and validation, multivariate statistics.
Communication Essay and report writing.
Information Technology Image processing, Geographic Information Systems, spatial modelling and simulations. Experience with standard software used by many employers.
Personal Development and Career planning Landscape metrics, habitat suitability modelling
Problem solving Hypothesis formulation and testing Formulate quantitative approaches to complex problems Critically evaluate outcome of analyses and assess confidence in results.
Research skills Data acquisition, handling and presentation of results. Review, synthesis and critical evaluation of published scientific literature. Integration and analysis of multi-disciplinary information.

Reading List

General Text
Gergel, S E and Turner, M G (editors) (2001) Learning landscape ecology: a practical guide to concepts and techniques Springer-Verlag Primo search Head, L (2000) Cultural landscapes and environmental change Arnold Primo search Johnston, C A (1997) Geographic information systems in ecology Blackwell Science Primo search Lindenmayer, D and Fischer, J (2006) Habitat fragmentation and landscape change: an ecological and conservation synthesis Island Press Primo search Turner, M G; Gardner, R H and O'Neill, R V (2001) Landscape ecology in theory and practice: pattern and process Springer-Verlag Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6