New insights into the natural world are just a few of the results from the use of fractal geometry.
Examples from population and landscape ecology are used to illustrate the usefulness of fractal
geometry to the field of ecology. The advent of the computer age played an important role in the
development and acceptance of fractal geometry as a valid new discipline. New insights gained from
the application of fractal geometry to ecology include: understanding the importance of spatial and
temporal scales; the relationship between landscape structure and movement pathways; an increased
understanding of landscape structures; and the ability to more accurately model landscapes and
ecosystems. Using fractal dimensions allows ecologists to map animal pathways without creating an
unmanageable deluge of information. Computer simulations of landscapes provide useful models for
gaining new insights into the coexistence of species. Although many ecologists have found fractal
geometry to be an extremely useful tool, not all concur.
With all the new insights gained through the
appropriate application of fractal geometry to natural sciences, it is clear that fractal geometry a
useful and valid tool.
New insight into the natural world is just one of the results of the increasing popularity and use of
fractal geometry in the last decade. What are fractals and what are they good for? Scientists in a
variety of disciplines have been trying to answer this question for the last two decades. Physicists,
chemists, mathematicians, biologists, computer scientists, and medical researchers are just a few of
the scientists that have found uses for fractals and fractal geometry.
Ecologists have found fractal geometry to be an extremely useful tool for describing ecological
systems. Many population, community, ecosystem, and landscape ecologists use fractal geometry as
a tool to help define and explain the systems in the world around us. As...