Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (7): 1063-1080.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1645-7

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

The emerging cross-disciplinary studies of landscape ecology and biodiversity in China

Zehao SHEN(), Yiying LI, Kang YANG, Lifang CHEN   

  1. Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Science, the MOE Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2018-05-10 Accepted:2019-01-22 Online:2019-07-25 Published:2019-07-25
  • About author:

    Author: Shen Zehao, Professor, specialized in mountain landscape ecology and biogeography. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2017YFC0505200;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41790425


The spatiotemporal landscape heterogeneity implies multiple biodiversity mechanisms across scales, and the cross-disciplinary studies between landscape ecology and biodiversity are becoming a new research field in China. This paper briefly reviews the development of the field by comparing papers published in international journals and Chinese journals; then it investigates the differences in the trends and focuses between international and Chinese studies. We also introduce several study areas that have emerged over the last 10 years in this field, including metacommunity assembly, landscape genetics, biodiversity and ecosystem service relationship, and landscape planning for biodiversity conservation. The major advances emerging in this field in China over the past 5 years can be classified into six subject areas: 1) effects of urban landscape and urbanization on biodiversity; 2) altitudinal patterns of biodiversity in mountain landscapes; 3) effects of topographic heterogeneity on plant community assembly and species coexistence; 4) impacts of landscape patterns and processes on animal behaviors; 5) forest fires and spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation responses; and 6) landscape ecology applications in natural conservation planning and design. In an attempt to promote cross-field studies between geography and ecology, this special issue collected 10 research articles, involving multiple landscape types and biological assemblages, in order to explore the interaction between landscape features and biodiversity. We anticipate that the future development of this active front will be primarily driven by the application of novel information techniques and the realistic demands of sustainability issues, in addition to answering scientific questions cross scales.

Key words: landscape ecology, biodiversity, cross-disciplinary study, frontiers, progresses