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Web Ecology An open-access peer-reviewed journal
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Volume 15, issue 1
Web Ecol., 15, 25–28, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-15-25-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Web Ecol., 15, 25–28, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/we-15-25-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Review article 19 Jun 2015

Review article | 19 Jun 2015

Defining heterogeneity as a second level of variation

B. B. Hanberry B. B. Hanberry
  • Department of Forestry, University of Missouri, 203 Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

Abstract. The term heterogeneity has been defined in various ways so that the meaning of heterogeneity has become ambiguous. However, heterogeneity can be defined carefully as a distinct response to multiple single types of underlying variation, that is, a secondary level of variation (or "metavariation"). Identification of heterogeneity is affected by multiple factors, including researcher decisions, and ecosystems at a specified scale can contain both heterogeneous and homogenous variables. A formalized definition may also reduce the suggestion that heterogeneity is more beneficial than homogeneity.

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