Are potential natural vegetation maps a meaningful alternative to neutral landscape models?
Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2009
2002 IAVS - the International Association of Vegetation Science
Applied Vegetation Science
Volume 5, Issue 2, pages 271–275, December 2002
How to Cite
Ricotta, C., Carranza, M. L., Avena, G. and Blasi, C. (2002), Are potential natural vegetation maps a meaningful alternative to neutral landscape models?. Applied Vegetation Science, 5: 271–275. doi: 10.1111/j.1654-109X.2002.tb00557.x
- Issue online: 24 FEB 2009
- Version of Record online: 24 FEB 2009
- Received 26 March 2001; received 8 October 2001 Final received 26 February 2002; Accepted 1 March 2002.
- Landscape structure;
- Spatial model;
- Vegetation dynamics
Abstract. In this paper, we present a short overview of neutral landscape models traditionally adopted in the landscape ecological literature to differentiate landscape patterns that are the result of simple random processes from patterns that are generated from more complex ecological processes. Then, we present another family of models based on Tuxen’ s definition of potential natural vegetation that play an important role, especially in Europe, for landscape planning and management. While neutral landscape models by their very nature do not take into account vegetation dynamics, nor abiotic constraints to vegetation distribution, the concept of potential natural vegetation includes the effects of vegetation dynamics in a spatially explicit manner. Therefore, we believe that distribution maps of potential natural vegetation may represent an ecological meaningful alternative to neutral landscape models for evaluating the effects of landscape structure on ecological processes.