Principles of Ecology
New insights into the natural world are just a few of the results from the use of fractal geometry.
Examples from population and landscape ecology are used to illustrate the usefulness of fractal geometry to the field of ecology. The advent of the computer age played an important role in the development and acceptance of fractal geometry as a valid new discipline. New insights gained from the application of fractal geometry to ecology include: understanding the importance of spatial and temporal scales; the relationship between landscape structure and movement pathways; an increased understanding of landscape structures; and the ability to more accurately model landscapes and ecosystems. Using fractal dimensions allows ecologists to map animal pathways without creating an
unmanageable deluge of information. Computer simulations of landscapes provide useful models for gaining new insights into the coexistence of species. Although many ecologists have found fractal geometry to be an extremely useful tool, not all concur. With all the new insights gained through the appropriate application of fractal geometry to natural sciences, it is clear that fractal geometry a useful and valid tool.
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