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TIBOR HARTEL, COSMIN IOAN MOGA, KINGA ÖLLERER, LÁSZLÓ DEMETER, DORU M. RUSTI, ISTVÁN SAS, ADALBERT BALOG. A proposal toward the adoption of spatial heterogeneity in studying the distribution of animals in Romanian landscapes. NORTH-WESTERN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 4 (1), 2008.

Abstract: Landscape ecology is new and continuously developing field of ecology, of which primary focus is the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the environment and ecological processes. It has been widely adopted by animal ecologists as well. In this review we present arguments regarding the need of including the landscape ecological approaches in the study of the distribution of organisms in Romania. Based on the recent developments, we present three conceptual landscape models, the fragmentation model (the most frequently used) the variegation model and the continuum model. We argue that at the first step, the fragmentation model should be applied since it allows a relatively quick survey of a larger area. After the main landscape elements influencing the studied organism’s habitat use were identified using this approach, we propose the variegation or the continuum models in smaller scale, depending on the studied organisms, as a complementary tool for the fragmentation model. Whatever the choosed landscape model / approach might be, it is extremely important to clearly define what is considered to be a landscape (details about the delimitation of patches and / or some measurable parameters of the spatial heterogeneity) in the study and what is the spatial scale considered. The structure of many of our semi-natural landscapes will certainly change in the new, „European Union” era. Without high quality data, it will be impossible for engineers and decision makers to incorporate ecological data into urban planning and decision thereby reducing the impact of the ecological perspective on urban, infrastructural, agricultural or other developements and use of natural resources.

Keywords: landscape ecology, spatial distribution, animals, Romania, conservation


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