Vital Landscape Attributes: Missing Tools for Restoration Ecology

Vital Landscape Attributes: Missing Tools for Restoration Ecology


The authors introduce a series of 16 candidates quantifiable attributes, named “vital landscape attributes” (VLAs), for evaluating the results of ecological restoration or rehabilitation undertaken with a landscape perspectives. VLAs provide quantitative indicators of levels of landscape degradation. VLAs aim to monitor and compare restoration or rehabilitation projects whether or not the project designers fully realized the importance of a landscape perspective.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The authors noted that landscape is a crucial scale at which to work, both conceptually and practically while the notion of landscape itself can be subjective and objective at the same time. VLAs are expected to assist in resolving the complexity in landscapes, spatially and ecologically, in order to increase our ability to analyze, compare, and manage landscapes by serving as rapid evaluations of a landscape’s current state and its probable trajectory. There are three groups of VLAs proposed by the authors: Landscape structure and biotic composition, Functional interactions among ecosystems within the landscape, and Degree, type, and causes of landscape fragmentation and degradation.


Aronson J, Floc\textquotesingleh E. Vital Landscape Attributes: Missing Tools for Restoration Ecology. Restoration Ecology. 1996;4:377–387. doi:10.1111/j.1526-100x.1996.tb00190.x.


  • Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionelle et Evolutive, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifiqu, France