The landscape agent in context - how to deal with explanations in Landscape Ecology

Authors and Affiliations: 

Jørgen Primdahl, Andreas Aagaard Christensen

Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen


Landscapes change through a combination of natural and social processes. The social processes causing changes of landscapes, functionally and structurally are specific combinations of various driving forces including economic, technological, cultural and political driving forces. However it could be argued that it is human decisions and practices which cause landscapes to change and not more or less abstract driving forces. In this paper we focus on different types of explanations in landscape ecology with reference to various paradigms for studying landscape change. We confront the OECD driving force-state-response with a more agent based model of relationships between human practices, landscape change and public policy. Finally, we use current ideas of a relational geography to discuss local landscape dynamics in the context of global change.