Evolution and emerging research trends in the ecological impacts of landscape change: perspectives from a Chilean biodiversity hotspot

Camilo Hernández, Cristian Echeverría, Cara Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Context: Literature on the ecological impacts of landscape change (LC) has increased dramatically over the last few decades. However, there has not been systematic evidence from a landscape ecology perspective about the evolution of research in this field as well as the main gaps in knowledge. Objectives: Our objective was to track the advancement of research on ecological impacts of LC by identifying the main topics, as well as emerging trends, primary findings and main impacts of LC in a Chilean biodiversity hotspot. Methods: We used CiteSpace to conduct a bibliometric analysis to represent the knowledge domain and to identify scientific literature related to the impacts of LC in a Chilean biodiversity hotspot between 1990 and 2019. Results: We found that articles most frequently focused on compositional attributes of biodiversity (41%) and on analyzing impacts at the community (43%) and population level (34%). In particular, changes in community structure and composition and biologic interactions were the most frequently studied. Research on quantifying forest loss and fragmentation using spatially explicit modeling techniques over a long temporal scale were a turning point in LC impact research. We found several gaps in LC research, including lack of studies that simultaneously address multiple levels of the ecological hierarchy and that address linkages between ecological processes and the provisioning ecosystem services. Conclusions: Studies that address the impacts of LC at multiple levels of ecological hierarchies and on ecosystem processes and services are needed. Furthermore, our findings highlight the importance of place-based research syntheses to identify research gaps and meet sustainability goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1587-1603
Number of pages17
JournalLandscape Ecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Bibliometric approach
  • Biodiversity hotspot
  • Community structure
  • Ecological impacts
  • Ecosystem services
  • Landscape change


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