Kaleidoscoping Landscapes, Shifting Perspectives



Landscapes change in complex ways, creating surface patterns reminiscent of forms seen through a kaleidoscope. On the Earth's surface, those forms are linked to, and caused by, processes that originate with bedrock-soil-vegetation-atmosphere interactions. Human-caused alterations to landscapes are additionally tied to socioeconomic processes. Evaluation of landscape-level processes can benefit from examining (1) the influence of disturbance regimes in altering landscape patterns, (2) the importance of considering surficial processes, (3) the subtle and cryptic spatial relations that may be present, (4) the reciprocal relationships among local processes and regional consequences, (5) the increased likelihood of some land cover transitions compared to others, and (6) the special case of landscapes with long histories of human use. These are all examples of potential fruitful arenas for interactions and represent a path for expansion of landscape ecology through accommodation of a broad range of content covered by the international GIScience community.