NCEAS Project 2204

Theoretical landscape ecology

  • Bruce T. Milne

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st January—30th June 2000Participant List  

Abstract
Among ecological disciplines, landscape ecology is especially concerned with the function, origin, dynamics, and consequences of spatial pattern and scale dependence. The deep theoretical bases for the organization of landscapes and the ecological systems they support have yet to be articulated, despite nearly two decades of research in this area. As a center fellow, I plan to write a book entitled "Theoretical Landscape Ecology". The book will enable ecologists to understand and apply insights from recent work in condensed matter physics, where profound theories and theory-generating tools have been developed to a high degree. Beginning with an exposition about scaling laws, the book will include renormalization group theory (with applications to diffusion, habitat use, and disturbance), a theory of ecotones based on percolation phase transitions, application of computation theory to landscape dynamics, and new theory of energy supply as a control on biodiversity. My ongoing collaboration with Frank Davis, via the Multiscale Assessment of the Columbia River Basin (CRB) project (P. Bourgeron, INSTAAR, PI) will enable me to incorporate extensive geographical and biophysical data as illustrations in the book.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Presentations Gupta, V. K.; Poveda, G.; Milne, Bruce T. 2002. Balance equations: A foundation for developing eco-hydrologic and hydro-ecologic theories, May 2002. University of Colorado Boulder.
Journal Article Kerkhoff, Andrew J.; Martens, Scott N.; Milne, Bruce T. 2004. An ecological evaluation of Eagleson's optimality hypotheses. Functional Ecology. Vol: 18. Pages 404-413.
Journal Article Kerkhoff, Andrew J.; Martens, Scott N.; Shore, Gregory A.; Milne, Bruce T. 2004. Contingent effects of water balance variation on tree cover density in semiarid woodlands. Global Ecology and Biogeography. Vol: 13. Pages 237-246.
Journal Article Milne, Bruce T.; Gupta, V. K.; Restrepo, Carla. 2002. A scale invariant coupling of plants, water, energy, and terrain. Ecoscience. Vol: 9(2). Pages 191-199.
Presentations Milne, Bruce T. 2002. Free energy minimization in semi-arid landscapes. Consortium of the Americas for Interdisciplinary Science, 21-22 November 2002. UNM.
Presentations Milne, Bruce T. 2002. How does the Darwinian optimization of plant fitness antagonize terrain formation?. Scaling and Non-linearities in Hydrology, 2-5 June 2002. Peter Wall Institute, University of British Columbia.
Presentations Milne, Bruce T.; Gupta, V. K.; Olff, Han; Poveda, G. 2002. The ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration defines a dimensionless number that is a pivotal landscape ecological parameter. 17th Annual Conference of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, April 2002. Lincoln, Nebraska.
Report or White Paper Milne, Bruce T.; Moore, D. I.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Parks, J. A.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Parmenter, Robert R.; Pockman, William T. 2003. Multidecadal drought cycles in South-Central New Mexico: Patterns and Consequences. Edited by Greenland, D.; Goodin, D. G.; Smith, R. C. Climate Variability and Ecosystem Response at Long-Term Ecological Research Sites. Oxford University Press. Oxford. Pages 286-307.
Journal Article Parody, Jennifer M.; Milne, Bruce T. 2004. Implications of rescaling rules for multi-scaled habitat models. Landscape Ecology. Vol: 19. Pages 691-701.