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Complexity at advancing ecotones and frontiers
Environment and Planning A
  • George P. Malanson
  • Yu Zeng
  • Stephen J. Walsh
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Publication Date

Ecotones, such as advancing treelines, have been examined as complex self-organizing systems. Frontiers of human settlement may share some of their spatial characteristics, because they too include feedbacks between spatial pattern and process. Advancing frontiers of three study areas in the Amazonian region of Ecuador are analyzed with the aid of Landsat imagery to detect change. Power-law distributions of advancing deforestation are found, which are indicative of possible complexity. Alternative approaches in self-organized complexity, including self-organized percolation and the inverse-cascade model, and an approach to complexity involving optimization?highly optimized tolerance?are considered. Some combination of these, based on their common ancestry in percolation theory, might provide insights into population ? environment interaction at settlement frontiers.

  • Sustainability
Published Article/Book Citation

Environment and Planning A, 38:4 (2006) pp.619-632.

Citation Information
George P. Malanson, Yu Zeng and Stephen J. Walsh. "Complexity at advancing ecotones and frontiers" Environment and Planning A Vol. 38 Iss. 4 (2006) p. 619 - 632
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