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Rectangular and hexagonal grids used for observation, experiment and simulation in ecology

Colin P.D. Birch, Sander P. Oom and Jonathan A. Beecham

Ecological Modelling, 2007, vol. 206, issue 3, 347-359

Abstract: Regular grids or lattices are frequently used to study ecosystems, for observations, experiments and simulations. The regular rectangular or square grid is used more often than the hexagonal grid, but their relative merits have been little discussed. Here we compare rectangular and hexagonal grids for ecological applications. We focus on the reasons some researchers have preferred hexagonal grids and methods to facilitate the use of hexagonal grids. We consider modelling and other applications, including the role of nearest neighbourhood in experimental design, the representation of connectivity in maps, and a new method for performing field surveys using hexagonal grids, which was demonstrated on montane heath vegetation.

Keywords: Calluna vulgaris; Connectivity; Diagonal and orthogonal interactions; Dynamic spatial modelling; Experimental design; Grid map visualization; Hierarchical patch dynamics; Moore and von Neumann nearest neighbourhoods; Square lattice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:206:y:2007:i:3:p:347-359