By Jurek Kolasa, C. David Rollo (auth.), Jurek Kolasa, Steward T. A. Pickett (eds.)

An appealing, promising, and problematic characteristic of ecology is its complicated­ ity, either conceptual and observational. expanding acknowledgment of the significance of scale testifies to the transferring concentration in huge components of ecology. within the rush to discover difficulties of scale, one other basic element of ecolog­ ical platforms has been given much less realization. This element, both very important, is heterogeneity. Its value lies within the ubiquity of heterogeneity as a characteristic of ecological platforms and within the variety of questions it increases­ inquiries to which solutions will not be on hand. what's heterogeneity? Does it range from complexity? What dimensions desire be thought of to judge heterogeneity ade­ quately? Can heterogeneity be measured at a variety of scales? Is heterogeneity aside of association of ecological platforms? How does it switch in time and house? What are the factors of heterogeneity and motives of its swap? This quantity makes an attempt to respond to those questions. it's dedicated to iden­ tification of the which means, variety of functions, difficulties, and methodol­ ogy linked to the examine of heterogeneity. The assurance is hence vast and wealthy, and the contributing authors were inspired to diversity largely in discussions and reflections. vi Preface The chapters are grouped into subject matters. the 1st team makes a speciality of the conceptual foundations (Chapters 1-5). those papers exarnine the that means of the time period, historic advancements, and family to scale. the second one subject is modeling inhabitants and interspecific interactions in hetero­ geneous environments (Chapters 6 and 7).

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Rollo References Addicott JF, Aho JM, Antolin MF, Padilla DK, Richardson JS, Soluk DA (1987) Ecological neighborhoods: scaling environmental patterns. Oikos 49:340-346 Aihara K, Matsumoto G (1986) Chaotic oscillations and bifurcations in squid giant axons. In Holden AV (ed) Chaos. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 257-269 Allen TFH, Starr TB (1982) Hierarchy: Perspectives for Ecological Complexity. University of Chicago Press, Chicago Allen TFH, O'Neill RV, Hoekstra TW (1984) Interlevel relations in ecological research and management: some working prineiples from hierarchy theory.

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Point/summary: A budding framework for the study of functional heterogeneity is available. This framework is based on recognition of hierarchical structure of ecological systems. Analyses of heterogeneity and the resulting generalizations may lead to new and important insights about the various roles heterogeneity can play at different levels of organization. Scales Although the notion of scale has already appeared several times, it is useful to state explicitly the relations among scales and other concepts.

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