Landscape Models and Explanation in Landscape Ecology—A Space for Generative Landscape Science?
Version of Record online: 20 OCT 2006
The Professional Geographer
Volume 58, Issue 4, pages 369–382, November 2006
How to Cite
Brown, D. G., Aspinall, R. and Bennett, D. A. (2006), Landscape Models and Explanation in Landscape Ecology—A Space for Generative Landscape Science?. The Professional Geographer, 58: 369–382. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9272.2006.00575.x
- Issue online: 20 OCT 2006
- Version of Record online: 20 OCT 2006
- Initial submission, March 2005; revised submissions, January 2006; final acceptance, April 2006
- complex systems;
- spatial modeling;
- spatial pattern
Further development of process-based spatial models is needed to facilitate explanation in landscape ecology. We discuss the dual modeling goals of prediction and explanation and identify challenges faced in explaining landscape patterns. These challenges are especially acute in attempts to explain patterns that result from complex adaptive systems. We compare examples of two process models used to describe landscape changes in Yellowstone National Park as a consequence of predator-prey interactions. Generative landscape science is offered as a complementary approach to explanation, combining models of candidate processes that are believed to give rise to observed patterns with empirical observations.