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Measuring Plant DiversityLessons from the Field$
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Thomas J. Stohlgren

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172331

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172331.001.0001

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Quantifying Trends in Space and Time

Quantifying Trends in Space and Time

(p.323) 18 Quantifying Trends in Space and Time
Measuring Plant Diversity

Thomas J. Stohlgren

Oxford University Press

Most of all, this book has focused on accurately quantifying the spatial patterns of plant diversity. This is often attempted with a combination of remote sensing data, plot sampling techniques, and interpolations from spatial models, which provide “a snapshot” of plant diversity patterns (with some quantified levels of uncertainty). This chapter describes the ultimate challenge as plant ecologists measure and predict (model) changes in plant diversity in space and time — “the movie.” The “Holy Grail” in ecological research is to develop field and modeling techniques to detect and quantify patterns in space and time and to explicate underlying mechanisms. This chapter also discusses the theoretical and analytical challenges of such research, and concludes with lessons learned from the book.

Keywords:   spatio-temporal modeling, uncertainty, spatial patterns of plant diversity, field and modeling techniques, mechanisms

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