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Large-scale questions and small-scale data: empirical and theoretical methods for scaling up in ecology



Oecologia (2005) 145: 177–178 DOI 10.1007/s00442-005-0057-9 S P E C I A L T O P I C : S C A L I N G - U P I N E C O LO G Y ¨ N. Underwood Æ P. Hamback Æ B. D. Inouye Received: 1 February 2005 / Accepted: 3 February 2005 / Published online: 11 May 2005 Ó Springer-Verlag 2005 Most experimental work is done at small spatial scales due to scientific, logistical, and financial constraints. Unfortunately, ecologists (and society) require answers to problems about dynamics that arise at larger scales than often can be studied experimentally. Thus, it is imperative to develop empirical and theoretical methods for scaling up the results of small-scale studies to predictions at larger scales. These methods should also identify the limits to scaling up: i.e., clarify when results from small-scale experiments cannot be extrapolated to larger scales. In this special topic, we identify three important hurdles associated with scaling up in population biology and methods of addressing these problems: (1) increased spatial heterogeneity with increasing spatial scale, (2) changes to species pools and species identities with changes in spatial scale, and (3) behaviors and trait-mediated indirect effects



OecologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 1, 2005

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-005-0057-9

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