Fractals and Multifractals in Ecology and Aquatic Science: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Fractals and Multifractals in Ecology and Aquatic Science

1st Edition

By Laurent Seuront

CRC Press

364 pages | 186 B/W Illus.

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Ecologists sometimes have a less-than-rigorous background in quantitative methods, yet research within this broad field is becoming increasingly mathematical. Written in a step-by-step fashion, Fractals and Multifractals in Ecology and Aquatic Science provides scientists with a basic understanding of fractals and multifractals and the techniques for utilizing them when analyzing ecological phenomenon.

With illustrations, tables, and graphs on virtually every page – several in color – this book is a comprehensive source of state-of-the-art ecological scaling and multiscaling methods at temporal and spatial scales, respectfully ranging from seconds to months and from millimeters to thousands of kilometers. It illustrates most of the data analysis techniques with real case studies often based on original findings. It also incorporates descriptions of current and new numerical techniques to analyze and deepen understanding of ecological situations and their solutions.

Includes a Wealth of Applications and Examples

This book also includes nonlinear analysis techniques and the application of concepts from chaos theory to problems of spatial and temporal patterns in ecological systems. Unlike other books on the subject, Fractals and Multifractals in Ecology and Aquatic Science is readily accessible to researchers in a variety of fields, such as microbiology, biology, ecology, hydrology, geology, oceanography, social sciences, and finance, regardless of their mathematical backgrounds. This volume demystifies the mathematical methods, many of which are often regarded as too complex, and allows the reader to access new and promising concepts, procedures, and related results.

Table of Contents


About Geometries and Dimensions

From Euclidean to Fractal Geometry


Self-Similar Fractals

Self-Similarity, Power Laws, and the Fractal Dimension

Methods for Self-Similar Fractals

Self-Affine Fractals

Several Steps toward Self-Affinity

Methods for Self-Affine Fractals

Frequency Distribution Dimensions

Cumulative Distribution Functions and Probability Density Functions

The Patch-Intensity Dimension, Dpi

The Korcak Dimension, DK

Fragmentation and Mass-Size Dimensions, Dfr and Dms

Rank-Frequency Dimension, Drf

Fractal-Related Concepts Some Clarifications

Fractals and Deterministic Chaos

Fractals and Self-Organization

Fractals and Self-Organized Criticality

Estimating Dimensions with Confidence

Scaling or Not Scaling? That Is the Question

Errors Affecting Fractal Dimension Estimates

Defining the Confidence Limits of Fractal Dimension Estimates

Performing a Correct Analysis

From Fractals to Multifractals

A Random Walk toward Multifractality

Methods for Multifractals

Cascade Models for Intermittency

Multifractals: Misconceptions and Ambiguities

Joint Multifractals

Intermittency and Multifractals: Biological and Ecological Implications

About the Author

Laurent Seuront is a Professor in Biological Oceanography at the Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia) and a Senior Research Scientist at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (West Beach, Australia). Prior to his present position, he was a research fellow of the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science at the Tokyo University of Fisheries (1999-2000) and a research scientist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France (2001-2008). Among multiple awards, he recently received the CNRS Bronze Medal in France (2007) in recognition of his early career achievements, and a prestigious Australian Professorial Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology