Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
19 Dec 2006
19 Dec 2006

Pattern, process, and function in landscape ecology and catchment hydrology – how can quantitative landscape ecology support predictions in ungauged basins?

B. Schröder

Abstract. The understanding of landscape controls on the natural variability of hydrologic processes is an important research question of the PUB (Predictions in Ungauged Basins) initiative. Quantitative landscape ecology, which aims at understanding the relationships of patterns and processes in dynamic heterogeneous landscapes, may greatly contribute to this research effort by assisting the coupling of ecological and hydrological models.

The present paper reviews the currently emerging rapprochement between ecological and hydrological research. It points out some common concepts and future research needs in both areas in terms of pattern, process and function analysis and modelling. Focusing on riverine as well as semi-arid landscapes, the interrelations between ecological and hydrological processes are illustrated. Three complementary examples show how both disciplines can provide valuable information for each other. I close with some visions about promising (landscape) ecological concepts that may help advancing one of the most challenging tasks in catchment hydrology: Predictions in ungauged basins.