Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Peters, D.P.C., Schlesinger, W.H., Herrick, J.E., Huenneke, L.F., Havstad, K.M. 2006. Future directions in Jornada research: applying an interactive landscape model to solve problems. In: Havstad, K.M., Huenneke, L.F., Schlesinger, W.H., editors. Structure and Function of a Chihuahuan Desert Ecosystem. The Jornada Basin Long-Term Ecological Research Site. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 369-386.
Interpretive Summary: In this book chapter, we propose a new model of arid and semiarid landscapes that focuses on the processes and properties that generate spatial variation in ecosystem dynamics. Our model includes three parts: (1) feedbacks among plants, animals, and soils with disturbances and a spatially variable environment, (2) neighborhood processes that connect different parts of a landscape, and (3) the condition of the surrounding area relative to the landscape itself. We first describe our new model and compare it with previous models. We then introduce an approach to identify the landscape locations where spatial processes are needed. We also describe the local, regional, and global implications of our new model.
Technical Abstract: In this book chapter, we propose a new model of arid and semiarid landscapes that focuses explicitly on the processes and properties that generate spatial variation in ecosystem dynamics. We are specifically interested in three interrelated aspects of landscapes: (1) feedbacks among plants, animals, and soils generated from interactions among biotic processes, a heterogeneous physical template, and the disturbance regime across a range of spatial and temporal scales, (2) neighborhood or contagious processes that generate fluxes and flows within and among spatial units, and (3) the landscape context and the condition of the study area of interest relative to its surroundings that modifies the transfers of materials. We first describe our spatially interactive model and compare it to previous models then introduce an approach to identify the landscape locations where spatial processes and information are needed in order to understand and predict ecosystem dynamics. The local, regional, and global implications of our interactive landscape model are also discussed.