Experimental Landscape Ecology offers the first guide to landscape ecologists on the art and science of doing experiments, both observational and manipulative. How do you conduct an experiment when your study subject is as big as a landscape? Issues of scale, spatial heterogeneity and limitations on replication may challenge scientists seeking to carry out robust experiments in landscape ecology.
Beginning with an overview of the history and philosophy of the scientific method, and tracing the development of experimental approaches in ecology broadly, the first half of the book discusses the broader issues of what makes a good experiment. Individual chapters describe unique aspects of landscape ecology that present challenges to experimentation, with suggestions for solutions on issues of scale, and how to apply controls, randomization and adequate replication in a landscape setting.
The second half of the book describes different kinds of landscape ecology experimental approaches including
- large-scale manipulations
- experimental model landscapes
- mesocosms and microcosms
- in silico experiments
- novel landscapes
Each chapter describes the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and identifies the types of landscape ecology concepts and questions that research can address. Examples from around the world, in a myriad of different environments, help to illustrate the ideas in each chapter.
Together with an annotated resources section, Experimental Landscape Ecology aims to stimulate ideas and inspire creativity for graduate students and early career researchers who want to conduct better experiments in landscape ecology.
Part I. Introduction
1. What is landscape ecology? Why do we need a book about experimentation?
Part II. Philosophy and Concepts of Experimentation
2. What does it mean to do experiments in ecology? Historical context and current approaches.
3. What is it about landscape ecology that makes experimentation a particular challenge?
4. Replication vs. pseudoreplication: are we making too big a deal of this?
5. Scale - we all talk about it; what do we do with it?
Part III. Approaches to Experimentation
6. Large-scale manipulative experiments
7. Large-scale model experiments
10. In silico experiments
11. Novel landscapes
Part IV. Conclusion
12. Where to go from here?
Part V. Resources
i. Annotated resource list
Yolanda Wiersma is a professor in the Department of Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. She conducts research on landscape ecology of the Canadian boreal forest.