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Conceptual Framework

Image: Landscape Limnology Conceptual Framework.

The four principles described previously are integrated into the landscape limnology conceptual framework (see above, and Soranno et al. 2009, and 2010). The 'funnels' represent freshwater, terrestrial, and human landscapes. These three funnels each possess unique properties and functionality, but collectively comprise a complete landscape mosaic that influences freshwater patches.

Ovals depicted in the funnels of the landscape limnology framework are organized hierarchically and provide examples of landscape-context variables known to be important drivers of freshwater ecosystem variation. All ultimately contribute towards explaining among-ecosystem heterogeneity in a response variable of interest. The framework is flexible in that, depending on higher-level constraints, different sets of specific landscape-context variables can be included for example, lakes in a high-elevation alpine setting will be controlled by different factors from lakes in a flat non-glaciated setting. Further, one can explain variation at other focal spatial scales either above or below the focal scale of a lake, stream or wetland that we use here.