Cliff Ecology: Pattern and Process in Cliff Ecosystems by Douglas W. Larson

By Douglas W. Larson

Cliffs are found in almost each kingdom on the earth. the shortcoming of medical curiosity in cliffs thus far is in extraordinary distinction to the commonness of cliffs all over the world and to the allure cliffs have had for people all through heritage. Cliffs supply a special habitat, hardly ever investigated from an ecological point of view. This e-book goals to damage the impact of cliffs as geological buildings with out existence, by way of reviewing information regarding the geology, geomorphology, microclimate, plant life, and fauna of either sea and inland cliffs. For the 1st time, facts is gifted to indicate that cliffs world wide may perhaps symbolize a useful form of atmosphere, together with a number of the least disturbed habitats on the earth and contributing extra to the biodiversity of a quarter than their floor assurance could point out.

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All three models can apply to any particular cliff because the structural variation in the rock and the erosional forces at the bottom of the cliff can vary spatially. Along the Niagara Escarpment, both the slope replacement model and the parallel retreat model can be demonstrated in different locations, but significant erosion has disappeared on cliffs that are no longer exposed to wave action. The rate of erosion is many orders of magnitude slower on inland cliffs than for the same or similar rocks exposed to moving water.

Continuous compression and decompression, usually from tectonic activity, can weaken rock, but once a cliff face has been exposed, weathering processes work to destabilize the rock. Cliffs in locations with a high degree of tectonic activity will be very unstable and will represent very Heterogeneity · 21 impermanent habitat for most immobile organisms. On the other hand, such cliffs will form large talus slopes that receive continuous inputs of new material. 2 Heterogeneity Next to the fundamental strength of the minerals in the rock, the mechanical heterogeneities caused by uneven rates of cooling, sedimentation patterns, seismic activity or crustal movement will control the rate and form of cliff development, and will also control the number and type of microhabitat features such as solution pockets, cracks, crevices and cavities.

A bottom-up approach that avoids disciplinary specialization, are rarely seen to generate significant testable hypotheses about particular processes or taxa and thus are viewed as less capable of making significant contributions to science. Thus, researchers prefer to investigate either individual processes (such as competition or predation) in various locations and using various combinations of taxa, or individual taxa wherever they occur and with respect to all the processes affecting them. 2). In the following pages, we briefly outline the concept of ‘ecology of place’ and show how the study of such a ‘place’ can contribute to our understanding of ecosystems.

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