Landscape Disturbance Dynamics

TitleLandscape Disturbance Dynamics
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsTurner, MG
Series EditorGardner, RH
Series TitleLandscape Ecology in Theory and Practice
Number of Pages53
CityNew York
KeywordsLandscape Disturbance Dynamics

Disturbances are integral to ecological systems and affect landscapes across a wide range of scales. The causes of disturbance, the patterns and dynamics they produce, their ecological consequences are major research topics in landscape ecology. Interest stemmed initially from recognition that disturbance was a conspicuous agent of pattern formation; they create complex landscape mosaics that we readily see. At the same time, disturbances were recognized as a natural agent of change within ecological communities, which contributed to the shift from an equilibrial to nonequilibrial view of the natural world that occurred in the late twentieth century (Wu and Loucks 1995; Perry 2002). Disturbances are key drivers of spatial and temporal heterogeneity because they alter the state and dynamics of a system. In landscape ecology, disturbances are ideal subjects for studies of pattern-process interactions because they both respond to and create landscape pattern.