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Jiquan Chen

Landscape Ecology Working Party in Current and Future Society


Keynote for the IUFRO Landscape Ecology Conference “Sustaining ecosystem services in forest landscapes”, 23-30 August 2015, Tartu, Estonia


Twenty-five years ago, with the leaderships of Dr. Thomas Crow and Dr. Bostjan Anko, the Landscape Ecology Working Party (WP) was formed. Ten conferences have been organized across the globe since then with a principle of “Although electronic communication helps us stay in contact, there is no substitute for the productive discussions that occur both formally and informally as these meetings”. The purpose of our WP meetings are to share information, experiences, and perspectives. These conferences serve this purpose very well and demonstrate resounding successes.  A few characteristics of the WP distinguished us from others. First, our conferences are the lifeblood of our group. We now have a core group of active members who have continuously promoted and expanded the collegial and social network. Second, we have placed our major effort into supporting junior researchers and students from developing countries. Third, we made efforts in developing edited books or special issues in scientific journals after every conference. Finally, we expanded our initiatives by collaborating with other organizations such as other WPs of IUFRO and IALE. Through these collaborations, our “landscape perspective” has been greatly enhanced.  Our missions aim to bridge the gap between the theory of landscape ecology and its application in managing forest resources. This mission can only be achieved with a broad support of our members by orchestrating specific activities.  As we move toward the Anthropocene, many pressing issues now face the globe and its societies need to adopt a landscape perspective. Both the scientific community and policy makers now realize the importance of integrating human and natural systems to sustain ecosystem services for society. Our understanding and endeavors in searching for potential solutions cannot be successful without a strong landscape perceptive, simply because human decisions are often made at this scale.


Michigan State University, USA