The defense will take place at UFR SLHSn rue Chifflet at Besançon on December the 1st 2016 at 14H30. This work was co-directed by Jean-Christophe Foltête and Céline Clauzel.


Defense jury

Marc ANTROP, Professor at the University of Gand,

Jacques BAUDRY, Research Director at the INRA,

Céline CLAUZEL, Associate Professor at the University Paris-Diderot,

Marianne COHEN, Professor at the University Paris-Sorbonne,

Jean-Christophe FOLTÊTE, Professor at the University of Franche-Comté,

Thomas HOUET, Associate researcher at the CNRS,



Landscape is both a backdrop to the lives of human populations and a medium for the life cycle of animal species. Landscape changes induced by land-use and land-cover dynamics affect both these dimensions, the one aesthetic, and the other ecological. Because these rationales are usually studied within different disciplines, little research has been done into how the two clash or combine as and when landscape structures change. This work seeks therefore to model the spatial co-evolution of the aesthetic and ecological functions of landscape retrospectively using spatial metrics based on land-cover data. It focuses on changes in the urban fringes of two French cities (Paris and Besançon) over the last 30 years.

The approach attempts first to use land-cover data to model (1) the landscape preferences of a set of individuals and (2) the ecological connectivity of a set of animal species. Drawing on both multivariate statistical analysis and spatial analysis, the core of this work consists in investigating how the two functions have evolved in convergent or divergent ways over time. The results provide fresh insight into the relationship between landscape aesthetics and landscape ecology and raise questions about the value of spatial modelling for a landscape management approach that endeavours to reconcile the preservation of residents’ living environments and the conservation of biodiversity.