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A classification of ecological boundaries

January 1, 2003

Ecologists use the term boundary to refer to a wide range of real and conceptual structures. Because imprecise terminology may impede the search for general patterns and theories about ecological boundaries, we present a classification of the attributes of ecological boundaries to aid in communication and theory development. Ecological boundaries may differ in their origin and maintenance, their spatial structure, their function, and their temporal dynamics. A classification system based on these attributes should help ecologists determine whether boundaries are truly comparable. This system can be applied when comparing empirical studies, comparing theories, and testing theoretical predictions against empirical results.

Publication Year 2003
Title A classification of ecological boundaries
DOI 10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0723:ACOEB]2.0.CO;2
Authors David L. Strayer, Mary E. Power, William F. Fagan, Steward T. A. Pickett, Jayne Belnap
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title BioScience
Index ID 70025828
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center