Causes and Consequences of Environmental Heterogeneity

The world is a heterogeneous place, and examination of the causes and consequences of environmental heterogeneity is increasingly of importance to our understanding of both natural and human-dominated landscapes. The Laikipia ecosystem in Kenya is characterised by profound environmental heterogenity across a wide range of spatial (and temporal) scales. We are examining this heterogeneity at variety of scales:

  1. Glades as ecosystems hot spots
  2. Tree-understory interactions
  3. Termite mounds as sources of landscape heterogeneity (click here research by Todd Palmer, Alison Brody, and Dan Doak)
  4. We have supported Ryan Sensenig's audacious research on the effects of scale and grain in savanna fires.
  5. The biodiversity correlates of variation in land use (still in the planning stage)
  6. Ecosystem and biodiversity differences across two contrasting soil types

The picture below is a (false color) satellite image of the KLEE exclosures, taken in June 2004.  Bright red indicates areas of higher productivity.  The large red areas are anthropogenic glades derived from old cattle enclosures ("bomas").  The regularly spaced small red dots are termite mounds.   For scale, each of the 18 plots is 200m x 200m.

satellite photo of KLEE exclosures