landscape sensitivity

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The potential for landscape dysfunction as a result of human impacts; the likelihood of change (Miles et al. (2001) Catena 42, 2 landscape health). In reality, landscape sensitivity is difficult to determine, as land uses tend to be confounded with climate type, and assessment of dysfunction is highly related to land use (Hobbs and MacIntyre (2005) Glob. Ecol. & Biol. 14, 1).

Brunsden (2001) Catena 42, 2 states that the landscape sensitivity concept concerns the likelihood that a given change in the controls of a system or the forces applied to the system will produce a sensible, recognizable, and persistent response. Landscape sensitivity (potential instability) may develop as a function of environmental factors acting over a long time period. Inherent landscape sensitivity becomes manifest when change reaches critical thresholds triggered either by extreme climatic events or by cumulative human impact or when both act in tandem (Marker (2003) Geog. J. 169, 1).

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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