Spatial organisation of landscapes and its function in semi-arid woodlands, Australia View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

1995-02

AUTHORS

John A. Ludwig, David J. Tongway

ABSTRACT

The spatial organisation of three major landscape types within the semi-arid woodlands of eastern Australia was studied by a detailed analysis of gradient-oriented transects (gradsects). The aim was to characterise the spatial organisation of each landscape, and to account for that organisation in functional terms related to the differential concentration of scarce resources by identifiable processes. Terrain, vegetation and soils data were collected along each gradsect. Boundary analysis was used to identify the types of landscape units at a range of scales. Soil analyses were used to determine the degree of differential concentration of nutrients within these units, and to infer the role of fluvial and aeolian processes in maintaining them. All three major landscape systems were found to be highly organised systems with distinctive resource-rich units or patches separated by more open, resource-poor zones. At the largest scale, distinct groves of trees were separated by open intergroves. At smaller-scales, individual trees, large shrubs, clumps of shrubs, fallen logs and clumps of grasses constituted discrete patches dispersed across the landscape. Our soil analyses confirmed that these patches act as sinks by filtering and concentrating nutrients lost from source areas (e.g., intergroves). We suggest that fluvial runoff-runon and aeolian saltation-deposition are the physical processes involved in these concentration effects, and in building and maintaining patches; biological activities also maintain patches. This organisation of patches as dispersed resource filters (at different scales) has the overall function of conserving limited resources within semi-arid landscape systems. Understanding the role of landscape patchiness in conserving scarce resources has important implications for managing these landscapes for sustainable land use, and for the rehabilitation of landscapes already degraded. More... »

PAGES

51-63

References to SciGraph publications

Journal

TITLE

Landscape Ecology

ISSUE

1

VOLUME

10

Author Affiliations

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf00158553

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00158553

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1012895628


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