Marine Science Faculty Publications

Mechanisms of Patch Formation

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Spatial Pattern, Wavelet Analysis, Patch Size, Antarctic Krill, Euphausia Superba

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Many mechanisms both physical (e.g., light, temperature, ocean currents, density gradients, topography) and biological (e.g., allelopathy, competition, predation, selective foraging) are considered responsible for patch formation. Wiens (1976) presented an excellent review of population responses to environmental patchiness. He identified localized random disturbances (e.g., fire, erosion, tree windfalls), predation, selective herbivory, and vegetational patterns as potential causes of patch formation. Roughgarden (1977) discussed five general mechanisms that are responsible for patchiness: resource distribution, dispersal, aggregation behavior, competition, and reaction-diffusion.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Mechanisms of Patch Formation, in S. A. Levin, T. M. Powell & J. W. Steele (Eds.), Patch Dynamics, Springer, v. 96, p. 184-209