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Essentials of Landscape Ecology$
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Kimberly A. With

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198838388

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198838388.001.0001

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Landscape Heterogeneity and Dynamics

Landscape Heterogeneity and Dynamics

(p.42) 3 Landscape Heterogeneity and Dynamics
Essentials of Landscape Ecology

Kimberly A. With

Oxford University Press

Heterogeneity is a defining characteristic of landscapes and therefore central to the study of landscape ecology. Landscape ecology investigates what factors give rise to heterogeneity, how that heterogeneity is maintained or altered by natural and anthropogenic disturbances, and how heterogeneity ultimately influences ecological processes and flows across the landscape. Because heterogeneity is expressed across a wide range of spatial scales, the landscape perspective can be applied to address these sorts of questions at any level of ecological organization, and in aquatic and marine systems as well as terrestrial ones. Disturbances—both natural and anthropogenic—are a ubiquitous feature of any landscape, contributing to its structure and dynamics. Although the focus in landscape ecology is typically on spatial heterogeneity, disturbance dynamics produce changes in landscape structure over time as well as in space. Heterogeneity and disturbance dynamics are thus inextricably linked and are therefore covered together in this chapter.

Keywords:   spatial heterogeneity, temporal heterogeneity, landscape mosaic, disturbance regime, landscape formation, abiotic disturbances, biotic disturbances, anthropogenic disturbances, land-use legacies

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