Landscape Ecology

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 87–96 | Cite as

Scaling of ‘landscapes’ in landscape ecology, or, landscape ecology from a beetle's perspective

  • John A. Wiens
  • Bruce T. Milne


Research performed on microlandscapes embodies the essence of landscape ecology by focusing on the ecological consequences of the mosaic structure of different landscape elements. As an illustration, observations and simulations were used to test whether the fractal structure of grassland microlandscapes affected the movement patterns of tenebrionid beeetles in natural environments. The significant tendency of beetles to avoid 1 m2 cells with fractal dimensions of 1.85 to 1.89 (indicating the area-filling tendency of bare ground) demonstrated the role of landscape structure as a modifier of beetle movements or diffusion in heterogeneous landscapes. Experiments in microlandscapes may accelerate the development of quantitative conceptual frameworks applicable to landscapes at all scales.


landscape ecology fractals tenebrionidae beetles grassland 


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Copyright information

© SPB Academic Publishing bv 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Wiens
    • 1
  • Bruce T. Milne
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biology and Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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