Experimental landscape ecology

Jenerette, C.D. and Shen, W. (2012) Experimental landscape ecology. Landscape Ecology . pp. 1-12.

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Experimentation in landscape ecology is widely conducted using diverse approaches to answer a broad range of questions. By assessing the response to controlled manipulations alternate hypotheses can be clearly refuted, model parameters quantified, and conditions are often ripe for unexpected insights. Results from landscape experiments complement the many well developed observational and modeling approaches more commonly used in landscape ecology. To better understand how landscape experimentation has been conducted and to identify future research directions, we reviewed and organized the diversity of experiments. We identified fifteen distinct landscape experiment types, which we categorized into four broad groups including (I) identifying landscape structure, (II) identifying how ecological processes vary within existing landscapes, (III) identifying how landscape structure influences ecological processes, and (IV) identifying landscape pattern formation factors. Experiment types vary along axes of scalable to real landscapes and generalizability, suitability for analysis through traditional experimental design and flexibility of experimental setup, and complexity of implementation and resource requirements. The next generation of experiments are benefiting from more explicit inclusion of scaling theories and tighter coupling between experiments and cyberinfrastructure. Future experimental opportunities for landscape ecologists include expanded collaborations among experiments, better representations of microbial-soil structure relationships at microscales, and direct evaluations of landscape interactions with global changes. The history, current practice, and future needs of landscape ecological research strongly support an expanded role of experimental approaches that complements the rich observational and modeling strengths of the field.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We thank the many colleagues and students that have engaged with us in discussions about the role of experimentation in landscape ecology. Ashkaan Fahimipour provided constructive comments to our ideas. GDJ was supported by the US National Science Foundation (DEB-0919006 and CNH-0814692). GDJ was also supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Fellowship Program. WS thanks the financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC-31130011 and 31070562) and the Major State Basic Research Development Program (973 Planning Program 2011CB403206).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experimental design – Scaling – Methodology – Synthesis
Author Affiliation: University of California, Riverside, CA 92512, USA, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, 510650, China
Subjects: Soil Science and Microbiology
Statistics and Experimentation
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr. SanatKumar Behera
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 04:11
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2012 04:11
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-012-9797-1
URI: http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/id/eprint/8227

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