Ecological Functions in a Biome Transition Zone: Translating Local Responses to Broad-Scale Dynamics

  • James R. Gosz
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 92)


This chapter focuses on transition zones between biomes, describing the interactions between climate and topography that result in biome interactions in a semiarid region, and the role of scale in ecotone research. Many current research programs deal with the influence of a changing climate; however, the broad-scale nature of climate makes such studies difficult. Biome transition zones may be especially useful as a small-scale proxy for continental-scale, biogeographic patterns. Field studies of local features and species’ responses in these tension zones (e.g., soil textural heterogeneity, topographic patterns of responses, few-year responses to El Niño and La Niña events, range extensions) may serve as test cases for hypotheses about broader scales that are much less tractable, logistically.


Semiarid Region Spring Precipitation Chihuahuan Desert Spring Moisture Conifer Woodland 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

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  • James R. Gosz

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