The Spatial Arrangement of Ecotones

Generally, we are used to evaluating an ecotone according to the level of spatial contrast recognized between two or more patches. The level of ecotonality, i.e. the net effect that such a border produces on a species, depends on many factors.

We have ecotones between individuals, populations, and communities. For each entity the ecotones behave differently.

Ecotones Ecology

ecotone ecotone

Fig. 6.4 The ecotone changes position in space and time due to internal as well as external dynamics. (a) In this case patch A substitutes patch B by progressive exclusion. (b) In this case patch A substitutes patch B in an irregular way and the ecotone varies in width according to the time sequences ecotone ecotone

Fig. 6.4 The ecotone changes position in space and time due to internal as well as external dynamics. (a) In this case patch A substitutes patch B by progressive exclusion. (b) In this case patch A substitutes patch B in an irregular way and the ecotone varies in width according to the time sequences

Another relevant difference affecting ecotone characteristics is the position of the borders according to environmental gradients. For instance, a community patch placed in the inner part of a slope can receive more nutrients than patches placed at the top.

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