Biocultural landscapes and the human scale of ecology

Gloria Pungetti, University of Cambridge UK & University of Sassari IT,

Antonio Gómez Sal, Ecology Area, Life Science Department, University of Alcalá,


The symposium aims to share know‐how on biocultural landscapes, their ecological and cultural functions, values and services. In particular, it aims to discuss methodologies on the human scale of ecology, exploring the transition between the physical resources and technology, and the cultural perception and traditional knowledge of landscape and seascape. The symposium supports, firstly, the exchange of methods to research, conserve and manage these landscapes in Europe and elsewhere; secondly, transdisciplinary and cross‐cultural approaches; thirdly, insights for research, education and planning.


Biocultural landscape and seascape are shaped by dynamic processes that were developed during time by nature and humans. They are connected to people by multiple interactions, forming complex biocultural systems full of functions, services and values.In the context of global changes, with the biosphere intensively and rapidly modified by man, one of the tasks of Landscape Ecology is to define methods to analyse the interaction of humans and the modified ecosystems, considering consequences for both people (tradition, well‐being) and the ecosystems (resilience, integrity), and to provide indicators for these interactions and consequences.
The symposium hence considers landscape as an interface between human interaction and perception, and the properties of ecosystems ‐ the human scale of the ecology.


  • sharing know‐how on biocultural landscape and seascape, their ecological and anthropic functions, values and services
  • discussing methodologies on the human scale of ecology
  • exploring the transition between the physical resources and technology, and the cultural perception and traditional knowledge of landscape and seascape
  • contributing to landscape ecology research
  • disseminating advances of the IALE Working Group on Biocultural Landscape
  • reporting the results of the European Working Group to the next IALE World Congress
  • illustrating progress of the new Spanish IALE Chapter
  • disseminating research with presentations and publications.


  • Transdisciplinary and cross‐cultural approaches on biocultural landscape/seascape
  • Functional approaches to the human scale of ecology: components and interactions
  • Biocultural landscape/seascape character assessment
  • Historic landscape and traditional ecological knowledge
  • Sacred landscape, seascape and islandscape
  • Rural and agricultural landscape: structure, diversity, resilience in their ecological and human interface
  • Perception: methodologies to explore the effects of landscape components and structure on people values, meanings, well‐being
  • Landscape and islandscape identity: factors determining the feelings of belonging
  • Biocultural, ecosystem and cultural services
  • Methods for the analysis and characterisation of cultural elements of landscape, seascape and islandscape, including perception, heritage and intangible values.


What can participants expect to learn?

Participants will learn about:

  • ecological and anthropic character of European landscape, seascape and islandscape, with their ecosystem and cultural services
  • interaction of local people with landscape and seascape, their functions, perception, values
  • state of the art on biocultural landscape, seascape and islandscape research
  • approaches to the human scale of ecology
  • context on the relation between ecosystems and human perception
  • debate tackling the recent contribution on the topics presented, providing new ideas for future directions.


Selected papers on biocultural landscape and seascape could form a special issue of an international journal. The results of the symposium could lead to the elaboration of a joint paper or a coordinated special issue of Landscape Ecology. Ideas for dissemination will be collected during the symposium. Other means will be explored within the IALE Biocultural Landscape Working Group and the new Spanish IALE Chapter.

The expected impact is raising awareness about the fundamental links between nature and culture, ecosystems and the human scale of ecology, and especially between landscape and seascape processes and the people involved.


Oral presentations
Gloria Pungetti CCLP, University of Cambridge, UK...
Landscape Character Mapping in Cyprus and Lesvos, Greece: towards a common methodology
P. Manolaki1, A. Gkoltsiou2, I.N. Vogiatzakis1*,...
Rocío Pérez-Campaña University of Granada
Social innovations for maintaining biocultural heritage in rural areas: the UNESCO Vlkolínec site in Slovakia
Maria Kozova, Faculty of Education, Catholic...
The role of recreational foraging for relations to the landscape after a forest fire.
Andrew Butler 1, Ingrid Sarlöv-Herlin 2, Ann...
The calligraphy of the society in the landscape
Ana Pimenta Ribeiro (Leibniz University Hannover...
The interaction with the territory of the Spanish Drover Roads Network. Current functions of an ancient biocultural landscape.
Gómez Sal, A. and Velado Alonso, E. University of...
Landscape values and demands of local stakeholders elicited through escenic preferences and ecosystem services valuation in a Cultural Landscape of Mediterranean Spain
López-Santiago, Cesar1., Bidegain, Iñigo.1,...
The contribution of livestock breeds to biocultural landscapes – an overlooked topic
Stephen J.G. HALL Estonian University of Life...
Biocultural diversity in the urban context; how to assess it?
Paula Gonçalves, Kati Vierikko, Birgit Elands,...
The importance of manor gardens for protection of local natural habitats
Markéta Šantrůčková 1; Katarína Demková 1; Jiří...
Indigenous territories and agrodiversity: the Mazahua milpas of Mexico
Cristina Chávez-Mejía, Francisco Herrera-Tapia...