Summary and Conclusions

  • Robert G. Bailey


Figure 12.1 summarizes the ideas about the spatial and temporal variability of ecosystems presented in this book. From these ideas, we can draw the following conclusions:

1. We recognize all natural ecosystems by differences in climatic regime. Climate, as a source of energy and moisture, acts as the primary control for the ecosystem. As this component changes, the other components change in response. The primary controls over the climatic effects change with scale. Regional ecosystems are areas of essentially homogeneous macroclimate that biogeographers have traditionally recognized as biomes, life zones, or plant formations.


Climatic Regime Tall Grass Prairie Historical Biogeography Life Zone Ecological Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bolstad, P.V.; Swank, W.; Vose, J. 1998. Predicting Southern Appalachian overstory vegetation with digital terrain data. Landscape Ecology. 13: 271–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cleland, D.T.; Crow, T.R.; Hart, J.B.; Padley, E.A. 1994. Resource management perspective: remote sensing and GIS support for defining, mapping and managing ecosystems. In: V. Alaric Sample (ed.). Remote sensing and GIS in ecosystem management. Washington, DC: Island Press. pp. 218–242.Google Scholar
  3. Crisci, J.V.; Sala, O.E.; Katinas, L.; Posadas, P. 2006. Bridging historical and ecological approaches in biogeography. Australian Systematic Botany. 19: 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gosz, J.R. 1993. Ecotone hierarchies. Ecological Applications. 3: 369–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hammond, E.H. 1954. Small-scale continental landform maps. Annals Association of American Geographers. 44: 33–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Köppen, W. 1931. Grundriss der Klimakunde. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 388p.Google Scholar
  7. McNab, W.H. 1989. Terrain shape index: quantifying effect of minor landforms on tree height. Forest Science. 35: 91–104.Google Scholar
  8. Rowe, J.S. 1980. The common denominator in land classification in Canada: an ecological approach to mapping. Forestry Chronicle. 56: 19–20.Google Scholar
  9. Rowe, J.S. 1996. Land classification and ecosystem classification. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 39: 11–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rocky Mountain Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceFort CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations