Reference : A review on the use of entropy in landscape ecology: heterogeneity, unpredictability,...
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A review on the use of entropy in landscape ecology: heterogeneity, unpredictability, scale dependence and their links with thermodynamics
Vranken, Isabelle [Université de Liège - ULiège > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]
Baudry, Jacques [Institut Scientifique de Recherche Agronomique - INRA > UP980: Sad-paysage > > >]
Aubinet, Marc [Université de Liège - ULiège > Sciences et technologie de l'environnement > Physique des bio-systèmes >]
Visser, Marjolein []
Bogaert, Jan mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Biodiversité et Paysage >]
Landscape Ecology
Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] Information theory ; Spatial heterogeneity ; Pattern dynamics ; Scale influence ; Complexity ; Resilience
[en] The identification of a universal law that can predict the spatiotemporal structure of any entity at any scale has long been pursued. Thermodynamics have targeted this goal, and the concept of entropy has been widely applied for various disciplines and purposes, including landscape ecology. Within this discipline, however, the uses of the entropy concept and its underlying assumptions are various and are seldom described explicitly. In addition, the link between this concept and thermodynamics is unclear.
The aim of this paper is to review the various interpretations and applications of entropy in landscape ecology and to sort them into clearly defined categories. First, a retrospective study of the concept genesis from thermodynamics to landscape ecology
was conducted. Then, 50 landscape ecology papers that use or discuss entropy were surveyed and classified by keywords, variables and metrics identified as related to entropy. In particular, the thermodynamic component of entropy in landscape ecology and its various interpretations related to landscape structure and dynamics were considered. From the survey results, three major definitions (i.e., spatial heterogeneity,
the unpredictability of pattern dynamics and pattern scale dependence) associated with the entropy concept in landscape ecology were identified. The thermodynamic interpretations of these definitions are based on different theories. The thermodynamic
interpretation of spatial heterogeneity is not considered relevant. The thermodynamic interpretation related to scale dependence is also questioned by complexity theory. Only unpredictability can be thermodynamically relevant if appropriate measurements
are used to test it.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students
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