CALL FOR PAPERS: Toward a Science of Scaling in Landscape Ecology

Guest Editors

Amy E. Frazier, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Peter Kedron, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
Mary K. Donovan, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Theme & Objective

Landscape ecologists have long known that spatial scale can impact analyses, and scale has been a key topic in the discipline for more than 30 years. To scale something means to change the size while maintaining the same proportions, and a bevy of research in the field has investigated the impacts of changing spatial, temporal, and level of organization scales on research outcomes. Scaling, on the other hand, is a way of measuring the unmeasurable (Torgerson 1958) by translating information from one scale to another in space and/or time. Established scaling relationships built from measured values can provide the opportunity to predict values at unmeasured scales. In the seminal paper “Key issues and research priorities in landscape ecology: An idiosyncratic synthesis”, Wu and Hobbs (2002) identify scaling as a key priority, not scale, noting that “general ‘rules of thumb’ and specific techniques for scaling…need to be developed and tested more widely and rigorously.” Yet, nearly 20 years later, we still lack a ‘science of scale’ in landscape ecology.

At the same time, ecological and socio-ecological data are nearly always structured by different forms of clustering that are reflective of scale. Hierarchically, local environments are nested within larger regional environments, daily behavioral patterns are nested within seasonal variations, and species are nested within genus. When more than one level of clustering exists, cross structures can also exist such as when a migrating species travels between locations in different branches of an environmental hierarchy. Ongoing innovations such as those in multilevel modeling create opportunities to partially pool information across scales, stabilize parameter estimation, and improve our inferences about ecological and socio-ecological processes. These methods have the potential to create insights that can form the foundation of a richer theoretical understanding of scale, and lead to innovations in our ability to conduct scaling.

We invite papers that address this key need to develop general ‘rules of thumb’ and specific techniques for scaling information across scales in space and time, translating knowledge across organizational levels, and extrapolating experimental results to real-world systems. We encourage submissions that develop new techniques for prediction and extend theories that have been established in other fields such as physics and biology. We also encourage review and perspective papers. We will put less weight on submissions that simply examine the impact of different spatial scales on patterns or processes. Students and Early Career Researchers are especially encouraged to submit one of these article types.

References

Wu, J., & Hobbs, R. (2002). Key issues and research priorities in landscape ecology: an idiosyncratic synthesis. Landscape ecology, 17(4), 355-365.

Torgerson, W. S. (1958). Theory and methods of scaling.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: May 31, 2021

EXPECTED PUBLICATION: 2022

About the Guest Editors

Dr. Amy E. Frazier joined the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in Fall 2018 as an assistant professor. She received her doctorate in geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Frazier’s research interests focus on the integration of remote sensing, GIS, and landscape ecology to study global environmental change. Specifically, she investigates how advances in GIS and remote sensing classification science can be used to overcome the challenges that often result when trying to use remote sensing or aggregated GIS data to study ground-based phenomena. Dr. Frazier’s résumé can be viewed here.

Dr. Peter Kedron joined the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in Fall 2018 as an assistant professor. He completed his doctorate in geography at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research program generates new knowledge about the economic, social, and ecological processes that combine to create persistently uneven patterns of spatial development. His research program generates new knowledge about the economic, social, and ecological processes that combine to create persistently uneven patterns of spatial development.

Dr. Mary K. Donovan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. Donovan is a quantitative spatial ecologist focused on applied questions that inform conservation and management of coupled human-natural systems. Donovan’s research is motivated by informing decisions for conservation that consider how ecosystems are threatened by both local and global impacts. Her applied work is done alongside practitioners and stakeholders who are implementing management and policy, and includes studies on complex ecological dynamics, local and global impacts on reefs, marine spatial planning, invasive species, fisheries, and ecological resilience. Prior to joining ASU, Donovan was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute, and the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. Donovan received her doctorate in Zoology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dr. Donovan’s résumé can be viewed here.

Contact Information

Dr. Amy E. Frazier
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ
USA
amy.frazier@asu.edu