Scale and heterogeneity are two key concepts in landscape ecology which are inherently related. Scale would matter little in a world where entities and relationships remain invariant across space or time, or in a landscape that is spatially or temporally homogeneous (i.e., uniform or random). However, real landscapes are heterogeneous biophysically and socioeconomically, and they must be treated as such for most questions and problems that interest us as scientists or citizens. Spatial heterogeneity the diversity of entities and their spatial arrangement is one of the most essential and unifying features of all natural and anthropogenic systems. Landscape heterogeneity is the manifestation of patchiness (discrete patterns) and gradients (continuous variations) that are intertwined across multiple spatial scales. Thus, scale is indispensable for describing and understanding landscape pattern.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)