The Search for Generality in Studies of Disturbance and Ecosystem Dynamics

  • Peter S. White
  • Anke Jentsch
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 62)


Studies of disturbance have a long tradition in vegetation ecology (Cooper 1926; Raup 1941; White 1979) and have increased lly during the last 30 years (Dayton 1971; Heinselman 1973; Levin and Paine 1974; Borman and Likens 1979; Sousa 1979a,b, 1984; Pickett 1980; Pickett and White 1985; Van der Maarel 1993; Bornette and Amoros 1996; Paine et al. 1998; Freiich and Reich 1999; White et al. 1999). We have learned a tremendous amount about the significance of disturbance as an ecological factor in various habitats and communities (Knapp 1974; Grubb 1977; Miles 1979; Oliver 1981; Pickett and White 1985; Goldberg 1988; Frelich and Lorimer 1991; Milton et al. 1997), about disturbance regimes (Romme 1982; Turner et al. 1993; White et al. 1999), about functional adaptations of plants (Garcia-Mora et al. 1999; Walker et al. 1999), about responses of ecosystems (Bornette and Amoros 1996; Johnson et al. 1998; Engelmark et al. 1999) and about restoring disturbance as an ecosystem process (White and Walker 1997; Covington et al. 1999). During this period, a few theories and synthetic concepts have been proposed, but we do not yet have an inclusive general paradigm for this important body of work.


Patch Size Disturbance Regime Disturbance Effect Ecosystem Dynamics Disturbance Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter S. White
    • 1
  • Anke Jentsch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Experimental and Systems EcologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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