|Title||Landscape gradients and habitat structure in native grasslands of the central great plains|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Year of Publication||1997|
|Authors||Vinton, MA, Collins, SL|
|Editor||Knopf, FL, Samson, FB|
|Book Title||Ecology and Conservation of Great Plains Vertebrates|
Habitat variables have a powerful influence on the distribution and abundance of organisms, and many organisms directly affect the physical structure of their local environment. These interactions produce a complex feedback system that drives community dynamics. This scenario is particularly true in grasslands where the effects of “keystone engineers,” such as the North American bison (Bison bison), have a tremendous influence on ecosystem structure and function (Collins and Benning 1996). This interplay between organisms and habitat structure in grasslands occurs within a climatic regime that varies dramatically from one year to the next. In addition, the relative influence of different habitat variables changes at different spatial and temporal scales.