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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly a Complete Synopsis of Landscape Ecology's Multiple Dimensions, November 2, 2007
This review is from: Principles and Methods in Landscape Ecology: Towards a Science of the Landscape (Landscape Series) (Paperback)
Farina's excellent volume is perhaps one of the most thorough analyses of the current state of the art of Landscape Ecology in a single volume. Himself a renowned professor and theoretician, Farina begins his book by guiding his reader through the history of Landscape Ecology, all the way from early geography to modern theories of biosemiotics and perceptual landscapes. While Farina himself is a European scientist at the University of Urbino in Italy, he appears to have a comprehensive understanding of both the European and the American perspectives. This understanding becomes apparent in Farina's ability to reconcile Europe's more pragmatic approach with America's more theoretical emphasis by identifying the common epistemological principles and integrating them into complete paradigms.

Farina's Eco-Field theory, also described in the text, uses the "Umwelt" concept known in semiotics to link individual species and organisms to the landscape. The text also describes traditional theories such as percolation, hierarchy and metapopulations. Each chapter concludes with a large list references for more information on any of the topics covered, and almost all the examples used are from real studies.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is either beginning to explore Landscape Ecology or who wishes to improve his or her understanding of the field. Bear in mind that this book does not make for light reading, however. Many of the concepts and principles described are somewhat complex and, while Farina does a very good job of breaking them down into comprehensible ideas, the reader may have to expend a fair bit of effort on understanding some of the ideas. Occasional grammatical errors will occur, as well, as Farina chose to make this text accessible to the international community by writing it in English instead of his native Italian. These errors are generally very minor, however, and unavoidable, as English is complex enough to confuse even native speakers. Moreover, any effort made by the reader will be readily rewarded by the depth of insight and the richness of the content that this book provides.
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Principles and Methods in Landscape Ecology: Towards a Science of the Landscape (Landscape Series)
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