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An innovative contribution of landscape ecology to vegetation science

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An expansion of the foundations of the theory of landscape ecology can relocate its different approaches in a deeper biological vision. To this purpose, I directed my efforts towards comprehension of the landscape and of its main component—the vegetation mosaic—as a proper biological system.As suggested by Naveh, I have revised landscape ecology according to new scientific paradigms, ranging from the Principle of Emerging Properties to the “order through fluctuation” processes. Considering that a landscape is much more than a set of spatial characters, I tried to focus its ecological elements and processes, proposing new concepts (e.g., ecocenotope, ecotissue), new functions (e.g., biological and territorial aspects of vegetation), and new applications (e.g., evaluation of vegetation, etc.).This improves vegetation science through (1) a critical review of the limits of phytosociology in studying the landscape, (2) a more coherent study of both natural and anthropogenic vegetation, (3) a better understanding of transformation processes, (4) a confirmation of the necessity to abandon deterministic concepts (e.g., potential vegetation), and, especially, through (5) a new capacity for landscape vegetation diagnosis.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Milan


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