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Ecological Research

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 107–110 | Cite as

The eco-field: A new paradigm for landscape ecology

  • Almo FARINA
  • Andrea BELGRANO
Part III. Legacy and action of landscape ecology in nature-human system

In the spirit of the theory of biocomplexity and of the non-linear emergent characters of ecological systems, the eco-field is a new paradigm that integrates the vision of the landscape as a neutral matrix (like a habitat) in which organisms are living, and contemporarily as a product of the human mind. Eco-field is defined a ‘cognitive field’ created by the interference between functional traits and the ‘real world’. Species-specific environmental suitability is the result of the quality of the different eco-fields and the landscape becomes a cognitive entity. The eco-field paradigm can be extended to the emergent properties of the systems. The eco-field of emergences is the geographic space in which the emergent properties appear. The eco-field of organisms and the eco-field of emergences, like results of aggregated entities, have in common the multidimensionality of landscapes, refusing the vision of landscape like a neutral geographic matrix for organisms and processes.

Key words

biocomplexity eco-field paradigm hierarchical level of complexity landscape ecology theory 

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Copyright information

© Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ecology and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Environmental SciencesUrbino UniversityItaly
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA

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