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Generation and Maintenance of Heterogeneity in the Serengeti Ecosystem

Generation and Maintenance of Heterogeneity in the Serengeti Ecosystem

Chapter:
(p.135) Five Generation and Maintenance of Heterogeneity in the Serengeti Ecosystem
Source:
Serengeti III
Author(s):
T. Michael AndersonJan DempewolfKristine L. MetzgerDenné N. ReedSuzanne Serneels
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226760353.003.0005

This chapter describes the abiotic (e.g., soils, climate, landscape) and biotic (e.g., plant, animal) patterns of heterogeneity in the Serengeti, and identifies processes that contribute to their generation and maintenance. It describes patterns of heterogeneity in terms of the nature of their measurement—whether qualitative or quantitative—and the extent to which they included a spatial component. Furthermore, it identifies how humans have impacted natural patterns of heterogeneity across the Serengeti ecosystem within the last century. Because abiotic and biotic sources of heterogeneity can interact in complex ways and can produce unpredictable results, the chapter concludes by discussing three examples of heterogeneity generated and maintained by complex interactions between abiotic and biotic sources.

Keywords:   abiotic sources, biotic sources, heterogeneity, Serengeti

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