New Model Links Landscape Ecology to Ecosystem Ecology

Recently, in order to reduce the uncertainties created by the convergence of distant disciplines focusing on environmental complexity, I distinguished two main onto-logical views: the "process" perspective and the "organismic" perspective (Farina 1998). Such a distinction is not a novelty in ecology, or in the other biological sciences, but it nevertheless provides a useful approach to explore the "black box" of environmental complexity.

The "process" perspective views erosion, fragmentation, movement of organisms or other (disturbance) events as entities that behave according to the different environmental pressures they encounter contributing to landscape heterogeneity. For instance, topography, wind direction and strength, vegetation types, and land use have a great influence on severity and behavior of wild-fire processes.

The second perspective takes into account the "organismic" perception of the environment from a species-specific point of view. For instance, the use of habitat patches for such vital functions as feeding, roosting, breeding, and mating is considered according to species-specific patch suitability and the history of the land mosaic (Turner et al. 1997).

But despite this vision, the uncertain border between the ecosystem, in which the "topological" functions prevail over the "chorological" ones, and the spatial dimension of landscape still persists.

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