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Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems$
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Peter Petraitis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569342

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199569342.001.0001

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Using temporal and spatial patterns as evidence

Using temporal and spatial patterns as evidence

Chapter:
(p.130) (p.131) 9 Using temporal and spatial patterns as evidence
Source:
Multiple Stable States in Natural Ecosystems
Author(s):

Peter Petraitis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199569342.003.0009

This chapter addresses the problems and issues that arise from trying to infer the existence of multiple stable states from observations of patterns in time and space. Patterns in nature are often used by ecologists to infer processes and causality, however, the temporal and spatial scales of ecological processes are too long and too broad to undertake informative experiments. This chapter explains the method of inferring causality from patterns, and its connection to catastrophe flags. Moreover, it discusses biases derived from assessing and selecting the evidence of multiple stable states. Examples of evidence from spatial patterns, and temporal patterns are also given.

Keywords:   multiple stable states, patterns, ecologists, temporal scales, spatial scales, ecological processes

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