Modeling Spatial Dynamics of Ecosystem Processes and Services

  • Gergel S
  • Reed T
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Understanding and predicting rates of ecosystem processes (e.g., soil erosion, nutrient flux) across large heterogeneous landscapes is an enduring challenge in ecosystem and landscape ecology and underpins the knowledge base for managing ecosystem services. Many current problems in ecosystem services management (e.g., maintenance of water quality and reduction of soil erosion) occur over broad spatial scales and across ecosystem boundaries and thus are influenced by landscape pattern (Ecol indic 21:80–88, 2012). When scaling up, ecosystem ecologists and watershed hydrologists have often used fine-scale plot experiments to infer rates of ecosystem processes at broader scales (Science 195:260–262, 2012). This approach can present difficulties as the results of fine-scale studies may not reflect the heterogeneity evident in a larger area (Ecosystems 6:301–312, 2003). Because collection of ecosystem data at broad scales is often difficult and costly and many ecosystem services are difficult to measure directly, modeling is a vital tool for addressing both basic and applied questions in this realm. In this lab, you will examine several fundamental issues of modeling landscape-level ecosystem processes and services in order to.




Gergel, S. E., & Reed, T. (2017). Modeling Spatial Dynamics of Ecosystem Processes and Services. In Learning Landscape Ecology (pp. 275–288). Springer New York.

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