Applied landscape ecology : reality or vision? the landscape planners' perspective
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- Master's theses (ILP) 
Landscapes do not only generate means of livelihood for present and future generations, they are also exposed to dramatic changes through natural and human-related impacts, amongst others climate change, alteration of habitats, changes in species composition, and land use. The goal of spatial planning is to align economic, social, and cultural demands on landscapes with ecological sustainability. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the role which landscape ecology plays at present in order to achieve this goal. Landscape planners from three European countries were invited to participate in an online survey to share their knowledge, experiences and opinions. Results revealed a substantial interest of spatial planners in sustainable landscape planning, influenced primarily by policies and awareness of the public. However, the application of landscape ecology in spatial planning is to some extent perceived as problematic. Crucial factors for the consideration of landscape ecological principles when changing landscapes include knowledge, policies and personal attitudes of involved decision makers. Based on this, several respondents noticed a discrepancy between the theoretical application and the actual implementation of landscape ecological principles. Further, the need of a well-defined terminology, the role of a binding legislation, and required sources of information about landscape ecology are discussed. In order to advance further in the application of landscape ecology in spatial planning I suggest a closer collaboration between spatial planners and landscape ecologists: On the one hand information about landscape ecology has to be easily accessible and comprehensible for spatial planners, on the other hand landscape ecologists should be more involved in spatial planning processes.