From concepts to practice: combining different approaches to understand drivers of landscape change

Thanasis Kizos, Peter H. Verburg, Matthias Bürgi, Dimitirs Gounaridis, Tobias Plieninger, Claudia Bieling, Thomas Balatsos

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Landscape change and its drivers have been the focus of a growing body of literature in the past years. Our objective is to present different approaches to studying and understanding landscape change. We sketch the way in which different approaches and existing conceptual models are related to spatial scales and epistemological aims, and discuss complementarity and a range of applications with five specific research approaches from a Mediterranean landscape, including approaches at national and European levels. These include an analysis of historical landscape change, an investigation of decision-making processes, public awareness raising, evaluation of landscape services, and provision of policy support with data from published and unpublished material. The findings indicate that on the issue of complementarity, some models work better together with others. A major difference observed is the role that conceptual models and related approaches provide to the “voice” of stakeholders and actors of landscape change, sometimes contradicting, but often complementary. An important issue that comes up is a need for a plurality of research approaches and underlying conceptualizations of human–environment interactions, as the approaches represent different lenses for looking at the human– environmental system that are all abstractions from the full complexity of how decision-making on land use is conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEcology and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Driving forces
  • Landscape change
  • Lesvos


Dive into the research topics of 'From concepts to practice: combining different approaches to understand drivers of landscape change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this