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Patch Context

Image: Patch Context. Figure is drawn from the perspective of a lake. A patch = a lake.An individual ecosystem is embedded in a complex mosaic defined by the freshwater, terrestrial, and human landscapes. The explicit spatial location of these patches and their placement relative to other landscape elements, both past and present, determines the attributes and dynamics of each ecosystem and its functional processes.

Land use/cover is a well-studied driver of freshwater ecosystems that integrates elements of freshwater, terrestrial, and human landscapes. For example, lake nutrients are influenced by adjacent wetlands and forests and altered by human activities in the catchment such as agriculture and urbanization. In this example, the land use/cover immediate surrounding Lake A is undisturbed forest with nearby wetlands while Lake B is immediately surrounded by wetlands, with agricultural and suburban land use/cover prevalent nearby.

Figures are drawn from the perspective of a lake. A patch = a lake.