Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Use and Misuse of Neutral Landscape Models in Ecology

Kimberly A. With and Anthony W. King
Oikos
Vol. 79, No. 2 (Jun., 1997), pp. 219-229
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3546007
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3546007
Page Count: 11
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Use and Misuse of Neutral Landscape Models in Ecology
Preview not available

Abstract

Neutral landscape models (NLMs) were developed from percolation theory nearly a decade ago. Since then, the original random percolation maps have undergone adaptive radiation and NLMs now include a diverse array of spatially explicit models based on theoretical distributions derived from fractal geometry and spectral synthesis. The purpose of NLMs is to provide null models of landscape structure as a baseline for comparison with real landscape patterns, or for evaluating the effects of landscape structure on ecological processes. As the use of NLMs has expanded beyond the domain of theoretical landscape ecology to applications in other areas of ecology, there is an increased risk that NLMs will be used inappropriately, or that their function will be misunderstood or misinterpreted. NLMs are being subjected to the same general criticisms levied against null models in other areas of ecology. For this reason, we clarify the purpose of NLMs, review the contributions of NLMs to ecology, and evaluate the appropriate use of NLMs in ecological research. NLMs have already made several contributions to ecology: (1) development of spatial indices to describe landscape patterns; (2) prediction of critical thresholds in ecological phenomena; (3) definition of landscape connectivity; (4) development of "species' perceptions" of landscape structure; (5) provision of a general model of spatial complexity; and (6) determination of the ecological consequences of spatial heterogeneity. In the future, emphasis on NLMs should shift from theoretical development to application and model testing.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
219
    219
  • Thumbnail: Page 
220
    220
  • Thumbnail: Page 
221
    221
  • Thumbnail: Page 
222
    222
  • Thumbnail: Page 
223
    223
  • Thumbnail: Page 
224
    224
  • Thumbnail: Page 
225
    225
  • Thumbnail: Page 
226
    226
  • Thumbnail: Page 
227
    227
  • Thumbnail: Page 
228
    228
  • Thumbnail: Page 
229
    229