The Interplay Between Landscape Structure and Biotic Interactions

Phoebe L. Zarnetske, Benjamin Baiser, Angela Strecker, Sydne Record, Jonathan Belmaker, Mao-Ning Tuanmu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Landscape structure and biotic interactions are closely linked. We identify five aspects of landscape structure that contribute to the co-occurrence of species and restrict or enable different types of biotic interactions: patch size and habitat amount, isolation of patches, barriers to dispersal and movement, persistence of landscape structure, and landscape complexity. In addition, these aspects of landscape structure influence the strength and outcome of biotic interactions. Whereas most research focuses on the effects of the abiotic environment on species and their biotic interactions, research on foundation species and ecosystem engineers demonstrates the important influence of biotic interactions on landscape structure itself, including effects on landscape complexity, extent of habitat, and the structure of landscape features. In this review, we describe ecological theories that lay the foundation for interplay between landscape structure and biotic interactions, and summarize these connections across an array of interacting species in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial systems. We end with suggestions for integrating the fields of landscape ecology and community ecology to better understand the connections between landscape structure and biotic interactions and better predict their dynamics in light of global change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-29
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Landscape Ecology Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'The Interplay Between Landscape Structure and Biotic Interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this