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Volume 71, Issue 6


The fractal nature of the latitudinal biodiversity gradient

Roberto Cazzolla Gatti
Published Online: 2016-07-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0077


For a long time ecologists have questioned on the variations of biodiversity across the latitudinal gradient. Recently, it has emerged that the changes in β-diversity are caused simply by changes in the sizes of species pools. In this study, the species pool size and the fractal nature of ecosystems was combined to clarify some general patterns of this gradient. Considering temperature, humidity and NPP as the main variables of an ecosystem niche and as the axis of the polygon in the Cartesian plane, it is possible to build fractal hypervolumes, whose fractal dimension rises up to three moving towards the equator. It follows that the best figure that graphically synthesizes the evolutionary forces that fit this ecosystem hypervolume is the fractal cauliflower.

Keywords: latitudinal gradient; biodiversity; fractals; ecosystem niche; cauliflower


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About the article

Received: 2016-02-09

Accepted: 2016-04-21

Published Online: 2016-07-14

Published in Print: 2016-06-01

Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 71, Issue 6, Pages 669–672, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/biolog-2016-0077.

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