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Abstract

▪ Abstract 

Landscape ecology focuses on the reciprocal interactions between spatial pattern and ecological processes, and it is well integrated with ecology. The field has grown rapidly over the past 15 years. The persistent influence of land-use history and natural disturbance on contemporary ecosystems has become apparent. Development of pattern metrics has largely stabilized, and they are widely used to relate landscape pattern to ecological responses. Analyses conducted at multiple scales have demonstrated the importance of landscape pattern for many taxa, and spatially mediated interspecific interactions are receiving increased attention. Disturbance remains prominent in landscape studies, and current research is addressing disturbance interactions. Integration of ecosystem and landscape ecology remains challenging but should enhance understanding of landscape function. Landscape ecology should continue to refine knowledge of when spatial heterogeneity is fundamentally important, rigorously test the generality of its concepts, and develop a more mechanistic understanding of the relationships between pattern and process.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.36.102003.152614
2005-12-15
2024-04-19
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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