Special Issue "Landscape Planning, Sustainability and Diversity in Human–Nature Interactions"

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few decades, there has been growing concern about worldwide, human-induced ecological degradation. Throughout our history and prehistory, landscape change and socioeconomic dynamics have been the main components of human–nature interactions. An essential endeavor of human societies is the creation of productive, residential, or leisure spaces. Land use and land cover dynamics are significant drivers of global change. One of the best elements available is to assess this are human–nature interactions in monitoring environmental sustainability.

Current landscapes constitute complex social–ecological systems shaped by a wide range of human–nature interactions. The speed, scale, complexity, and strength of such interactions have profound implications for social–ecological system diversity and sustainability. The decision-making and landscape planning in each historical period, political regime, or socioeconomic context define the different land covers and land uses and prioritize the demand of specific ecosystem services over others and the sustainability of their use. In landscape planning and management, there is often neither absolute right nor wrong. However, landscape transformations can have very long-lasting effects on human societies and ecosystems across time and space.

Analysis of the long- and short-term dynamics of forest transitions (deforestation or afforestation), agrarian transitions (abandonment or intensification) or urbanization can yield information about pre-impact states, success or failure of decision-making experiences, stability, resilience, or sustainable change dynamics across social–ecological systems. Thus, the monitoring of these transformations is essential to produce new knowledge on human–nature interactions that can guide more sustainable landscape management in the future.

This Special Issue aims to present an up-to-date overview of environmental sustainability and diversity in human–nature interactions from a broad and interdisciplinary perspective by bringing together conceptual, epistemological, methodological, and mainly case-based studies or applied perspectives. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Definition, characterization, or mapping of social–ecological systems, geosystems, or environmental management units.
  • Novel approaches to identify the main drivers of landscape change for environmental sustainability in landscape planning throughout history.
  • Innovative concepts, methods, or technologies to analyze and model land cover/land use change, human–nature interaction, or social–ecological system dynamics.
  • Disentangling concepts, synergies, and trade-offs between the concepts of social–ecological systems, geosystems, and environmental management units.
  • New technologies, methodologies, or tools to support land cover/land use decisions in sustainable landscape planning.

Prof. Dr. Raúl Romero-Calcerrada
Prof. Dr. Javier Cabello
Dr. Manuel Pacheco-Romero
Dr. Koldo Trapaga Monchet
Guest Editors