Skip to Main Content
Dynamic heterogeneity: a framework to promote ecological integration and hypothesis generation in urban systemsAuthor(s): S.T.A. Pickett; M.L. Cadenasso; E.J. Rosi-Marshall; K.T. Belt; P.M. Groffman; J.M. Grove; E.G. Irwin; S.S. Kaushal; S.L. LaDeau; C.H. Nilon; C.M. Swan; P.S. Warren
Source: Urban Ecosystems
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (1.0 MB)
DescriptionUrban areas are understood to be extraordinarily spatially heterogeneous. Spatial heterogeneity, and its causes, consequences, and changes, are central to ecological science. The social sciences and urban design and planning professions also include spatial heterogeneity as a key concern. However, urban ecology, as a pursuit that integrates across these disciplines, lacks a theoretical framework that synthesizes the diverse and important aspects of heterogeneity. This paper presents the concept of dynamic heterogeneity as a tool to explore how social and ecological heterogeneities interact and how they together act as both an outcome of past interactions and a driver future heterogeneity and system functions. To accomplish this goal, we relate heterogeneity to the fundamental concept of the human ecosystem. The human ecosystem concept identifies key processes that require operationalized models of dynamic heterogeneity in three process realms: the flow of materials, the assembly of urban ecosystem biota, and the locational choices humans make concerning land. We exemplify a specific dynamic model of heterogeneity in each of these realms, and indicate a range of complementary statistical approaches to integrate the drivers and outcomes of dynamic heterogeneity across the three realms.We synthesize a hierarchical framework for a theory of dynamic urban heterogeneity, noting its complementarity to other major urban theories and general model approaches. We hypothesize that human actions and structures amplify the dynamics of heterogeneity in urban systems.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationPickett, S.T.A.; Cadenasso, M.L.; Rosi-Marshall, E.J.; Belt, K.T.; Groffman, P.M.; Grove, J.M.; Irwin, E.G.; Kaushal, S.S.; LaDeau, S.L.; Nilon, C.H.; Swan, C.M.; Warren, P.S. 2017. Dynamic heterogeneity: a framework to promote ecological integration and hypothesis generation in urban systems. Urban Ecosystems. 20(1): 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-016-0574-9.
KeywordsCommunity assembly, Interdisciplinary, Locational choice, Spatial heterogeneity, Theory, Urban ecology, Ecosystem, Watershed
- Modeling human-environmental systems
- Man's nature: innate determinants of response to natural environments
- A conceptual framework for the study of human ecosystems in urban areas
XML: View XML