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Ecosystem extent and fragmentation

January 1, 2017

One of the candidate essential biodiversity variable (EBV) groups described in the seminal paper by Pereira et al. (2014) concerns Ecosystem Structure. This EBV group is distinguished from another EBV group which encompasses aspects of Ecosystem Function. While the Ecosystem Function EBV treats ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling, primary production, trophic interactions, etc., the Ecosystem Structure EBV relates to the set of biophysical properties of ecosystems that create biophysical environmental context, confer biophysical structure, and occur geographically. The Ecosystem Extent and Fragmentation EBV is one of the EBVs in the Ecosystem Structure EBV group.

Ecosystems are understood to exist at multiple scales, from very large areas (macro-ecosystems) like the Arctic tundra, for example, to something as small as a tree in an Amazonian rain forest. As such, ecosystems occupy space and therefore can be mapped across any geography of interest, whether that area of interest be a site, a nation, a region, a continent, or the planet. One of the most obvious and seemingly straightforward EBVs is Ecosystem Extent and Fragmentation. Ecosystem extent refers to the location and geographic distribution of ecosystems across landscapes or in the oceans, while ecosystem fragmentation refers to the spatial pattern and connectivity of ecosystem occurrences on the landscape.

Publication Year 2017
Title Ecosystem extent and fragmentation
Authors Roger Sayre, Matt Hansen
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Index ID 70193964
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Office of the AD Climate and Land-Use Change