Disturbance and stress - different meanings in ecological dynamics?

Borics, Gábor and Várbíró, Gábor and Padisák, Judit (2013) Disturbance and stress - different meanings in ecological dynamics? HYDROBIOLOGIA, 711. pp. 1-7. ISSN 0018-8158 (print), 1573-5117 (online)


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There is an increasing frequency of papers addressing disturbance and stress in ecology without clear delimitation of their meaning. Some authors use the terms disturbance and stress exclusively as impacts, while others use them for the entire process, including both causes and effects. In some studies, the disturbance is considered as a result of a temporary impact, which is positive for the ecosystem, while stress is a negative, debilitating impact. By developing and testing simple theoretical models, the authors propose to differentiate disturbance and stress by frequency. If the frequency of the event enables the variable to reach a dynamic equilibrium which might be exhibited without this event, then the event (plus its responses) is a disturbance for the system. If frequency prevents the variable’s return to similar pre-event dynamics and drives or shifts it to a new trajectory, then we are facing stress. The authors propose that changes triggered by the given stimuli can be evaluated on an absolute scale, therefore, direction of change of the variable must not be used to choose one term or the other, i.e. to choose between stress and disturbance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Terminology, Frequency scale, Disturbance, Perturbation, Stress
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QE Geology / földtudományok > QE08 Hydrosphere. Hydrology / hidroszféra, hidrológia
Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH540 Ecology / ökológia
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 14:54
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2014 23:15

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