1Concepts and Approaches in Landscape Ecology

1.1 The Historical Development of Landscape Ecology as a Science

Ecology as a written science probably has its known beginnings in ancient Greece with Aristotle and particularly with his successor, Theophrastus, who was one of the first philosophers to study “the relationships between the organisms and their environment”. This definition of the term Ecology that was first used two millennia later by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, who, in 1866, associated the Greek words Oikos (house) and Logos (science) (Figure 1.1).

Drawing of the Greek Philosopher Theophrastus (left) and photo of the German ecologist Ernst Haeckel (right).

Figure 1.1 The Greek philosopher Theophrastus (371–287 BC) (left) and the German ecologist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919 AC) (right).

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Theophrastus._Line_engraving._Wellcome_V0005785.jpg, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/Ernst _Haeckel_2.jpg (3 December 2017).

Haeckel further expanded the definition of Ecology in his writings in 18691: “By ecology we mean the body of knowledge concerning the economy of nature, the investigation of the total relations of the animal both to its inorganic and to its organic environment; including above all, its friendly and inimical relations with those animals and plants with which it comes directly or indirectly into contact.”

Other subdisciplines of ecology focus on the study of the distribution and abundance ...

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