space is the final frontier in ecology n.
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Space Is the Final Frontier in Ecology
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  1. Space Is the Final Frontier in Ecology • History of ecology = largely nonspatial e.g., *competitors mixed perfectly with prey *homogeneous ecosystems with uniform distributions of resources • Simple population models

  2. Space Is the Final Frontier in Ecology • History of ecology = largely nonspatial e.g., *competitors mixed perfectly with prey *homogeneous ecosystems with uniform distributions of resources • But ecology = fundamentally spatial • ecology = interaction of organisms with their [spatial] environment

  3. Vancouver Island marmot(Marmota vancouverensis) ~100 left Isolated from hoary and Olympic marmots

  4. Vancouver Island marmot(Marmota vancouverensis) Natural tree succession

  5. Vancouver Island marmot(Marmota vancouverensis) • Logging – disjunct patches • max. dispersal = 7 km • - Forestry disturbance • Climate • Prey-Predator Dynamics

  6. History of Landscape Ecology • “European School” • roots back to those of ecology • typing, classifying, naming • landscape architecture, planning, designing • “American School” • young = early 1980’s • focus on natural systems • theory & models, some field experiments

  7. Landscape Ecology as a Science? • Meta-analysis of papers in Landscape Ecology (Wiens 1992) – 1st 5 yrs of journal • Most studies are large scale (landscapes are big) • Most studies are descriptive or conceptual • Experiments difficult to conduct, thus modeling • Emphasis on vegetation pattern / land use pattern • Humans = impt. part of systems

  8. Landscape Ecology as a Science? • Hobbs (1997) – 2nd 5 years of Landscape Ecology • Less descriptive studies • More “methods” and modeling studies, no expts. • More quantitative / statistical analysis (spatial stats)

  9. Structure Function Emergence of Landscape Ecology ? Equilibrium View • Constant species composition • Disturbance & succession = subordinate factors • Ecosystems self-contained • Internal dynamics shape trajectory • No need to look outside boundaries to understand ecosystem dynamics ? ? ?

  10. Structure Function Emergence of Landscape Ecology Dynamic View • Disturbance & ecosystem response = key factors • Disturbance counter equilibrium • Ecosystems NOT self-contained • Multiple scales of processes, outside & inside • Essential to examine spatial & temporal context

  11. Emergence of Landscape Ecology Broad-scale Environmental Issues Landscape Ecology Concepts of Scale/Hiearchy Dynamic View Advances in Technology

  12. What is Landscape Ecology?

  13. Landscape ecology focuses on spatial heterogeneity and pattern. 1) detecting pattern 2) define origin of pattern 3) predicting change 4) relating pattern to processes & mgt

  14. 1 m2 • Often, spatial extents much larger than in traditional ecology… • But, emphasize spatial pattern at relevant scale 1 km2 10’s km2

  15. Often, focus on role of humans in creating and influencing patterns… • But, humans only one (albeit dominant) agent

  16. Importance of Landscape Ecology to Conservation & Management Ecosystem context matters Ecosystem function depends on interplay of pattern & process Policy & legal mandate to adopt landscape perspective

  17. Importance of Landscape Ecology to Conservation & Management • Ecosystem context matters Metapopulations

  18. Importance of Landscape Ecology to Conservation & Management • Ecosystem function depends on interplay of pattern & process Habitat fragmentation & Modified Disturbance Regimes

  19. Importance of Landscape Ecology to Conservation & Management • Policy & legal mandate to adopt landscape perspective