Temporal Extensions of Landscape Ecology Theory and Practice: Examples from the Peruvian Amazon


  • *The author is indebted to the University of Texas Population Research Center, Karl Butzer, the León family, and Kenneth R. Young for both their willing and unwitting contributions to this research.


The growing overlap between geographic information science (GIScience) and landscape ecology for landscape characterization has led to increasingly sophisticated measures of landscape site and situation. Scale, both temporal and spatial, has been injected into methodologies to improve our ability to derive process from pattern with the hope of defining, monitoring, and modeling ecological landscape function. This article addresses an evolving methodology of longitudinal or panel analysis designed to test the relative importance of thematic versus structural landscape configuration as well as interannual versus intra-annual change. Landscape typologies for both temporal signature and dominant structural trajectories are offered as guideposts for rethinking dynamic landscape characterization. A case study from the Peruvian Amazon is provided to illustrate interpretive advances available via panel methods that allow for disentangling inter- and intra-annual shifts as well as separating changes in composition versus configuration for improved understanding of landscape dynamics and dynamism.