In the landscape planning process landscape functions like regulation, carrier, production and information functions must be analyzed (Groot, 1992; Pietsch & Buhmann, 1999; Jessel & Tobias, 2002; von Haaren, 2004; Lang & Blaschke, 2007). For nature conservation the regulation function is the most relevant (Weiers et al., 2004). Therefore landscape ecology defined as a problem-oriented science can provide methods for the different planning steps. But to optimize the knowledge-transfer between landscape ecology and spatial planning landscape ecology must co-evolve (Opdam et al., 2002). "In decision-making on future landscapes, landscape planners, landscape managers and politicians are involved in a cycling process" (Opdam et al., 2002) (see Fig. 5)
Fig. 5. Planning cycle (adapted from Harms et al., 1993)
That means that different models and methods are needed to integrate science in the planning process (Blaschke, 1997; Lang & Blaschke, 2007; Schwarz-v. Raumer & Stokman, 2011). Some examples will be given in the following chapters.