The 25th anniversary of the founding of the UK chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (ialeUK) was marked in 2017.
To assess trends in UK landscape ecology research over ialeUK’s first 25 years, to compare these trends to changes elsewhere in the world, and to consider how ialeUK can continue to support landscape ecology research and practice.
A database of conference abstracts was compiled and examined in combination with a questionnaire that surveyed existing and former active members of ialeUK.
Across 1992–2017 we observe noticeable trends including the declining roles of statutory bodies, the development of the ecosystem services concept, and a decrease in use of empirical methods. Analysis of questionnaire results highlighted four key areas: Developing new researchers; Facilitating conferences for networking, learning and discussion; Linking policy with practice; and Driving the continued growth of landscape ecology as a discipline. Challenges were also noted, especially regarding the adoption of a wider understanding of landscape ecological principles in management.
Increases in qualitative research, decreases in studies explicitly examining connectivity/fragmentation and an absence of landscape genetics studies in the UK are seemingly distinct from US landscape ecology and elsewhere around the world, based on published accounts. ialeUK has had success in increasing the role of landscape ecology in policy and practice, but needs to continue to aim for improved collaboration with other landscape-related professional bodies and contributions to wider sustainability agendas.