220_Lecture_Landscape_Ecology

220_Lecture_Landscape_Ecology - Ecology of Landscapes co...

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Ecology of Landscapes co ogy o a dscapes LAND/SOCR 220
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What is Landscape Ecology? Landscape ecologyis the study of how landscape pg y structure affects the abundance and distribution of organisms… i.e., spatial patterns of species ¾ Ecology has often assumed a non-spatial, homogeneous environment. ¾ The environment is extremely spatial. ¾ Interaction strength varies with distance.
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What are landscapes? • Landscapes as a level in the biological hierarchy iomes ndscapes cosystems ommunities Biomes Æ landscapes Æ ecosystems Æ communities Æ populations Æ etc – Levels are defined on the basis of similarities in process rates • Landscapes as a scale of evaluation and easurement measurement – Scale implies a unit of measurement evel implies a process rate; scale implies a unit • Level implies a process rate; scale implies a unit of measurement
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Defining Landscapes Forman and Godron (1986): A eterogeneous land area composed heterogeneous land area composed of a cluster of interacting ecosystems that is repeated in similar form throughout. Turner at al. (2001): An area that is spatially heterogeneous in at least one factor of interest. Both stress the presence of patches or elements and interactions etween systems. between systems.
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Key questions in landscape ecology 1. What process(es) creates landscape attern? pattern? 2. What are the consequences? .How do we measure 3 od oe e a s u e pattern? At what scale? ow does pattern 4. How does pattern change through time? 5. How do we predict and manage pattern?
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Additional perspectives that are unique to ndscape ecology landscape ecology ± Landscape ecology often (not lways) focuses on larger always) focuses on larger spatial extents than traditionally examined in ecology ± Landscape ecology often (not always) focuses on the role of humans in affecting patterns nd processes ut it also and processes – but it also recognizes that humans are but one agent affecting landscapes.
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Definitions Landscape: an area that is spatially heterogeneous in at least one area of terest interest.
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220_Lecture_Landscape_Ecology - Ecology of Landscapes co...

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