Landscapes, Their Exploration and Utilisation: Status and Trends of Landscape Research
A new geological epoch has begun—the Anthropocene. Huge anthropogenic transformations of terrestrial landscapes over the past five decades have forced its declaration. Exploring of interaction of humans with nature in general, and with landscapes in particular, can be characterised properly by the terms ‘landscape research’ and ‘landscape science’. Landscape science has been a traditional scientific discipline of geography. This is the case in Russia, whilst the terms geo-ecology and landscape ecology have become established in the English-speaking scientific community. As landscapes are multifunctional, highly complex systems, landscape research is a platform for disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Landscape research in the Anthropocene must aim to combine landscape sustainability with high quality and productivity. This mission is in accord with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the provisions of the Landscape Convention of the European Council. It includes halting landscape degradation, developing cultural landscapes and maintaining semi-natural landscapes. Clean water and air, fertile and healthy soils for food and other ecosystem services and a green and biodiverse environment are attributes of landscapes for the survival and well-being of humans in coexistence with nature. Landscape research must generate knowledge, innovations and responsible decision rules for achieving these aims. Big data gathering and scenario modelling are important for knowledge generation in a globalised world. International long-term experiments, observatories and monitoring systems will deliver data for comprehensive ecosystem models and decision support systems. Technical innovations must be imbedded in cultural solutions for the evolvement of landscapes. Springer International’s new book series ‘Innovations in Landscape Research’ aims to support better understanding, monitoring and managing landscapes. It contains a multitude of approaches and data. Some focus is on technical innovations for agri-environmental monitoring, on land and water management and its implications for landscape sustainability. Authors present novel tools for ecosystem modelling and forecasting of landscape processes, and on creating knowledge, rules and approaches for handling the multifunctionality of landscapes. The coming book series may serve as a knowledge, data and communication basis for informed decisions regarding the development of landscapes. It will enlarge our horizon and field of action by building bridges between scientific communities, scientific disciplines, and researchers and citizens.