Scaling Properties of Mosaics

The dimension of patches (the mosaic grain) depends on the object composing the patches and on the disturbance regime.

Generally, the increase in disturbance increases patchiness and reduces the scale at which living forms organize in the environmental context.

In this way the anthropogenic landscapes of the recent past have been found by Perevolotsky and Seligman (1998) to be more fine grained than the present-day landscape after land abandonment and shrub and woodland recruitment. Patch dimension is strongly affected by the disturbance regime and by its consequences. In the Mediterranean mosaic the finer scale is richer in biological diversity than a coarse-grained scale created by shrub and tree recovery. In conclusion, the grain of a mosaic may be a good estimator of biological diversity.

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