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Environmental Sciences | Principles of Ecological Landscape Design

Principles of Ecological Landscape Design

Beck, Travis

2013, XIV, 280 p. 75 illus.


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  • With the increased focus on landscapes in rating systems (LEED Sustainable Sites), there is great demand for a guide that takes ecological concepts and explains to a design audience how the concepts can be applied
  • Visually appealing and thoughtfully presented, the author presents important ecological concepts followed immediately by a design application of the concept
  • The author is a Landscape and Gardens Project Manager with the New York Botanical Garden who has experience in both ecology and design

Today, there is a growing demand for designed landscapes—from public parks to backyards—to be not only beautiful and functional, but also sustainable. Sustainability means more than just saving energy and resources. It requires integrating the landscapes we design with ecological systems. With Principles of Ecological Landscape Design, Travis Beck gives professionals and students the first book to translate the science of ecology into design practice.

This groundbreaking work explains key ecological concepts and their application to the design and management of sustainable landscapes. It covers biogeography and plant selection, assembling plant communities, competition and coexistence, designing ecosystems, materials cycling and soil ecology, plant-animal interactions, biodiversity and stability, disturbance and succession, landscape ecology, and global change. Beck draws on real world cases where professionals have put ecological principles to use in the built landscape.

The demand for this information is rising as professional associations like the American Society of Landscape Architects adopt new sustainability guidelines (SITES). But the need goes beyond certifications and rules. For constructed landscapes to perform as we need them to, we must get their underlying ecology right. Principles of Ecological Landscape Design provides the tools to do just that.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Biodiversity - Biogeography - Biomes - Climate change - Ecology

Related subjects » Ecology - Environmental Sciences

Table of contents 




1. Right Plant, Right Place: Biogeography and Plant Selection

2. Beyond Massing: Working with Plant Populations and Communities

3. The Struggle for Coexistence: On Competition and Assembling Tight Communities

4. Complex Creations: Designing and Managing Ecosystems

5. Maintaining the World as We Know It: Biodiversity for High-Functioning Landscapes

6. The Stuff of Life: Promoting Living Soils and Healthy Waters

7. The Birds and the Bees: Integrating Other Organisms

8. When Lightning Strikes: Counting on Disturbance, Planning for Succession

9. An Ever-Shifting Mosaic: Landscape Ecology Applied

10. No Time Like the Present: Creating Landscapes for an Era of Global Change



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