An answer to the question: in what way different intensity of human activities changes the landscape structure, con-stitutes one of the aspects in biodiversity studies. These issues were discussed during the 6th Toruń Ecological Seminar: "Landscape and its biodiversity and metabolism". Some of the papers presented during the Seminar were published in Issue 7 of Ecological Questions. That volume presented the results of studies performed in ecosystems that constitute the landscape elements. Whereas the energy problems brought up in individual articles, concerned the applications of the metabolic theory of Ecology by John Brown and his co-workers, and the classical, emergy-oriented theory by Howard T. Odum's school, describing the ecosystem functioning.
The new, eighth issue of Ecological Questions dedicated to analyses performed at a large spatial scalę, at a supra-ecosystem level of the biosphere organization. In this new issue, both studies of the conference members arę presented, as well as other ordered articles related to issues discussed during the conference.
Some of the energy analyses presented in these papers were carried out in direct energy units. Other analyses, for instance such as evaluations of landscape functioning in Sweden or USA, were carried out in emergy units. Furthermore, most of the analyses, concerning the biodiversity and cultural metabolism at a large spatial scalę, were performed in the GIS technology. In some cases, satellite images provided the information on the landscape structure.
In most of the articles included in Issue 8 of Ecological Questions, changes in the landscape structure were evaluated on the basis of changes in the pattern of spatial distribution of plant communities or selected plant species. In one case, besides plant communities, also pollen spectra were analysed in landscapes with different contribution of various types of plant communities. In that paper, methods of numerical taxonomy were applied for comparisons, to the largest extent from all the papers included in Issue 8 of Ecological Questions. In one of the papers, besides the evaluation of human influence on the size of net primary production, species diversity of birds was presented along the anthropopressure gradient.
Similarly to the previous issue of Ecological Questions, we do hope that Issue 8 constitutes an effective contribution to the debatę on the landscape structure and its functioning and on the development of biological diversity in systems with different intensity of human activities, measured by energy as well as financial subsidy.