Encyclopedia of Estuaries

2016 Edition
| Editors: Michael J. Kennish

Habitat Complexity

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8801-4_234


Architectural complexity; Habitat architecture; Habitat heterogeneity; Substrate heterogeneity; Topographical complexity


Krebs (1994) has defined a habitat as any part of the biosphere where a particular species can live, either temporarily or permanently.

Complexity is defined as one aspect of habitat quality that is thought to influence the size, structure, distribution, and stability of populations.

Habitat complexity refers to the level or strength of interaction between a species and its environment.


In estuarine ecosystems, habitat complexity is one of the most important factors structuring biotic assemblages. It is frequently an important variable affecting species abundance and diversity. Habitats with high habitat complexity typically support more species and individuals than nearby less complex habitats. Identifying the key aspects and spatial scales of habitat complexity is critical to understanding the ecology and conservation of a range of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Estudios Superiores ZaragozaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)Delegación IztapalapaMéxico