A Land Systems Science Framework for Bridging Land System Architecture and Landscape Ecology: A Case Study from the Southern High Plains

Jacqueline M. Vadjunec, Amy E. Frazier, Peter Kedron, Todd Fagin, Yun Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Resource-use decisions affect the ecological and human components of the coupled human and natural system (CHANS), but a critique of some frameworks is that they do not address the complexity and tradeoffs within and between the two systems. Land system architecture (LA) was suggested to account for these tradeoffs at multiple levels/scales. LA and landscape ecology (LE) focus on landscape structure (i.e., composition and configuration of land-use and land-cover change [LULCC]) and the processes (social-ecological) resulting from and shaping LULCC. Drawing on mixed-methods research in the Southern Great Plains, we develop a framework that incorporates LA, LE, and governance theory. Public land and water are commons resources threatened by overuse, degradation, and climate change. Resource use is exacerbated by public land and water policies at the state-and local-levels. Our framework provides a foundation for investigating the mechanisms of land systems science (LSS) couplings across multiple levels/scales to understand how and why governance impacts human LULCC decisions (LA) and how those LULCC patterns influence, and are influenced by, the underlying ecological processes (LE). This framework provides a mechanism for investigating the feedbacks between and among the different system components in a CHANS that subsequently impact future human design decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalLand
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CHANS
  • Governance
  • High Plains Aquifer Region
  • Ogallala
  • Patterns
  • Social-ecological processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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