In June 2006 the China Natural Science Foundation and the International Association of Landscape Ecology sponsored an international workshop of forest landscape modelling. The aim of the workshop was to facilitate a discussion on the progress made in the theory and application of forest landscape models. A special issue of Forest Ecology and Management, entitled Forest Landscape Modeling – Approaches and Appplications [Vol. 253, Iss. 3], presents 12 papers resulting from that meeting. In their editorial, He et al. summarise the papers, organising them into three sections that describe current activities in forest landscape modelling: (1) effects of climate change on forest vegetation, (2) forest landscape model applications, and (3) model research and development.
The LANDIS model is used in several of the papers on climate and human management of forest systems. Advances in the representation of processes that propagate spatially, including fire and seed dispersal, are discussed in several of the papers examining model research and development. He et al. conclude their editorial by reiterating why landscape models are a vital tool for better understanding and managing forested regions of the world:
The papers represented in the special issue of forest landscape modeling highlight the advances and applications of forest landscape models. They show that forest landscape models are irreplaceable tools to conduct landscape-scale experiments while physical, financial, and human constraints make real-world experiments impossible. Most of the results presented in this issue would not have been possible without the use of forest landscape models. Forest landscape modeling is a rapidly developing field. Its development and application will continually be driven by the actual problems in forest management planning and landscape-scale research. We hope that the papers contained in this special issue will serve both researchers and managers who are struggling to incorporate large-scale and long-term landscape processes into their management planning or research.