Parasites, Lightning, and the Vegetation Mosaic in Wilderness Landscapes

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The vegetation mosaic in any landscape is a function of environmental variation and historic disturbances, whether caused by humans or other factors. Many studies have focused on species composition in relation to environmental gradients, and secondary succession is one of the oldest themes in ecology (Fig. 4.0. Usually the study areas selected for research of this nature have been dispersed in agrourban landscapes and have included woodlots, small tracts of prairie, or other relatively small, homogeneous stands of vegetation. Although the ecological significance of the spatial positioning of the communities or patches in the agrourban matrix has been largely ignored, there seems to be a growing interest in determining how the number, variety, and juxtaposition of the patches influence the frequency and spread of disturbance as well as other landscape characteristics, including wildlife habitat, biotic diversity, nutrient retention, and productivity (Pickett and White 1985; Forman and Godron 1986).


Originally published by Springer Verlag.