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Essentials of Landscape Ecology$
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Kimberly A. With

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198838388

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198838388.001.0001

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Scaling Issues in Landscape Ecology

Scaling Issues in Landscape Ecology

(p.14) 2 Scaling Issues in Landscape Ecology
Essentials of Landscape Ecology

Kimberly A. With

Oxford University Press

Spatial patterns are ubiquitous in nature, and ecological systems exhibit patchiness (heterogeneity) across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Landscape ecology is explicitly concerned with understanding how scale affects the measurement of heterogeneity and the scale(s) at which spatial pattern is important for ecological phenomena. Patterns and processes measured at fine spatial scales and over short time periods are unlikely to behave similarly at broader scales and extended time periods. An understanding of pattern-process linkages, a major research focus in landscape ecology, thus requires an understanding of how patterns change with scale, spatially and temporally. The development of methods for extrapolating information across scales is necessary for predicting how landscapes will change over time as well as for ecological forecasting. This chapter explores how scaling issues affect ecological investigations, discusses problems in identifying the correct scale for research, and outlines when and how ecological data can be extrapolated.

Keywords:   spatial scale, temporal scale, grain, extent, space-time diagram, hierarchy theory, scaling up, downscaling, ecological forecasting

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