Landscape Ecology

, Volume 3, Issue 3–4, pp 245–252 | Cite as

Predicting across scales: Theory development and testing

  • Monica G. Turner
  • Virginia H. Dale
  • Robert H. Gardner


Landscape ecologists deal with processes that occur at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. The ability to make predictions at more than one level of resolution requires identification of the processes of interest and parameters that affect this process at different scales, the development of rules to translate information across scales, and the ability to test these predictions at the relevant spatial and temporal scales. This paper synthesizes discussions from a workshop on ‘Predicting Across Scales: Theory Development and Testing’ that was held to discuss current research on scaling and to identify key research issues.


landscape ecology spatial scale temporal scale grain extent extrapolation models 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Addicott, J.F., Aho, J.M., Antolin, M.F., Padilla, D.K., Richardson, J.S. and Soluk, D.A. 1987. Ecological neighborhoods: scaling environmental patterns. Oikos 49: 340–346.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, T.F.H. and Starr, T.B. 1982. Hierarchy: perspectives for ecological complexity. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  3. Barnosky, C.W. 1984. Late Miocene vegetational and climatic variations inferred from a pollen record in northwest Wyoming. Science 223: 49–51.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett, R.J. 1979. Spatial time series. Pion, London.Google Scholar
  5. Carpenter, S.R. 1989. Temporal variance in lake communities: blue-green algae and the trophic cascade. Landscape Ecol. 3: 175–184.Google Scholar
  6. Carpenter, S.R. and Kitchell, J.F. 1987. The temporal scale of variance in limnetic primary production. Am. Nat. 129: 417–433.Google Scholar
  7. Dale, V.H., Jager, H.L, Gardner, R.H. and Rosen, A.E. 1988. Using sensitivity and uncertainty analyses to improve predictions of broad-scale forest development. Ecol. Modell. 42: 165–178.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, M.B. and Botkin, D.B. 1985. Sensitivity of cool-temperate forests and their fossil pollen record to rapid temperature change. Quat. Res. 23: 327–340.Google Scholar
  9. Delcourt, H.R. and Delcourt, P.A. 1988. Quaternary landscape ecology: relevant scales in space and time. Landscape Ecol. 2: 23–44.Google Scholar
  10. Delcourt, H.R., Delcourt, P.A. and Webb, T. 1983. Dynamic plant ecology: the spectrum of vegetation change in space and time. Quat. Sci. Rev. 1: 153–175.Google Scholar
  11. Delhomme, J.P. 1978. Kriging in the hydrosciences. Adv. Water Resour. 1: 251–266.Google Scholar
  12. Dickinson, R.E. 1988. Atmospheric systems and global change. In Scales and Global Change, pp. 57–80. Edited by T. Rosswall, R.G. Woodmansee and P.G. Risser. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  13. Dwyer, R.L. and Perez, K.T. 1983. An experimental examination of ecosystem linearization. Am. Nat. 121: 305–323.Google Scholar
  14. Forman, R.T.T. and Godron, M. 1986. Landscape ecology. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Frost, T.M., DeAngelis, D.L., Allen, T.F.H., Bartell, S.M. and Hall, D.J. 1988. Scale in the design and interpretation of aquatic community research. In Complex Interactions in Lake Communities, pp. 229–258. Edited by S.R. Carpenter. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Gardner, R.H., Milne, B.T., Turner, M.G. and O'Neill, R.V. 1987. Neutral models for the analysis of broad-scale landscape pattern. Landscape Ecol. 1: 19–28.Google Scholar
  17. Gardner, R.H., O'Neill, R.V., Turner, M.G. and Dale, V.H. 1989. Quantifying scale-dependent effects of animal movement with simple percolation models. Landscape Ecol. 3: 217–227.Google Scholar
  18. Getis, A. and Franklin, J. 1987. Second-order neighborhood analysis of mapped point patterns. Ecology 68: 473–477.Google Scholar
  19. Gosz, J.R. and Sharpe, P.J.H. 1989. Broad-scale concepts for interactions of climate, topography, and biota at biome transitions. Landscape Ecol. 3: 229–243.Google Scholar
  20. Hall, F.G., Strebel, D.E. and Sellers, P.J. 1988. Linking knowledge among spatial and temporal scales: vegetation, atmosphere, climate and remote sensing. Landscape Ecol. 2: 3–22.Google Scholar
  21. Holling, C.S. (ed.) 1978. Adaptive environmental assessment and management. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  22. Huston, M., DeAngelis, D. and Post, W. 1988. New computer models unify ecological theory. BioScience 38: 682–691.Google Scholar
  23. Jarvis, P.G. and McNaughton, K.G. 1986. Stomatal control of transpiration: Scaling up from leaf to region. Adv. Ecol. Res. 15: 1–49.Google Scholar
  24. King, A.W., DeAngelis, D.L. and Post, W.M. 1988. The seasonal exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere: extrapolation from site-specific models to regional models. ORNL/TM-10570. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.Google Scholar
  25. Krummel, J.R., Gardner, R.H., Sugihara, G. and O'Neill, R.V. 1987. Landscape patterns in a disturbed environment. Oikos 48: 321–324.Google Scholar
  26. Levasseur, M., Therriault, J.C. and Legendre, L. 1984. Hierarchical control of phytoplankton succession by physical factors. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 19: 211–222.Google Scholar
  27. Livingston, R.J. 1987. Field sampling in estuaries: the relationship of scale to variability. Estuaries 10: 194–207.Google Scholar
  28. Meentemeyer, V. 1978. Macroclimate and lignin control of litter decomposition rates. Ecology 59: 465–472.Google Scholar
  29. Meentemeyer, V. 1984. The geography of organic decomposition rates. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 74: 551–560.Google Scholar
  30. Meentemeyer, V. 1989. Geographical perspectives of space, time and scale. Landscape Ecol. 3: 163–173.Google Scholar
  31. Meentemeyer, V. and Box, E.O. 1987. Scale effects in landscape studies. In Landscape Heterogeneity and Disturbance, pp. 15–36. Edited by M.G. Turner. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  32. Milne, B.T. 1988. Measuring the fractal dimension of landscapes. Appl. Math. Comput. 27: 67–79.Google Scholar
  33. Neilson, R.P. and Wulstein, L.H. 1983. Biogeography of two southwest American oaks in relation to atmospheric dynamics. J. Biogeogr. 10: 275–297.Google Scholar
  34. Noy-Meir, I. 1971. Multivariate analysis of desert vegetation. II. Qualitative-quantitative partition of heterogeneity. Vegetatio 29: 179–190.Google Scholar
  35. O'Neill, R.V., DeAngelis, D.L., Waide, J.B. and Allen, T.F.H. 1986. A hierarchical concept of ecosystems. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  36. O'Neill, R.V., Milne, B.T., Turner, M.G. and Gardner, R.H. 1988. Resource utilization scales and landscape pattern. Landscape Ecol. 2: 63–69.Google Scholar
  37. O'Neill, R.V., Johnson, A.R. and King, A.W. 1989. A hierarchical framework for the analysis of scale. Landscape Ecol. 3: 193–205.Google Scholar
  38. Risser, P.G. 1986. Spatial and temporal variability of biospheric and geospheric processes: research needed to determine interactions with global environmental change. The ICSU Press, Paris.Google Scholar
  39. Risser, P.G., Forman, R.T.T. and Karr, J.R. 1984. Landscape ecology: directions and approaches. Special Publications No. 2. Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign.Google Scholar
  40. Romme, W.H. 1982. Fire and landscape diversity in subalpine forests of Yellowstone National Park. Ecol. Monogr. 52: 199–221.Google Scholar
  41. Romme, W.H. and Knight, D.H. 1982. Landscape diversity: the concept applied to Yellowstone Park. BioScience 32: 664–670.Google Scholar
  42. Rosen, R. 1989. Similitude, similarity, and scaling. Landscape Ecol. 3: 207–216.Google Scholar
  43. Rosswall, T., Woodmansee, R.G. and Risser, P.G. (eds.) 1988. Scales and global change. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Sollins, P., Spycher, G. and Topik, C. 1983. Processes of soil organic-matter accretion at a mudflow chronosequence, Mt. Shast, California. Ecology 64: 1273–1282.Google Scholar
  45. Steele, J.H. (ed.) 1978. Spatial pattern in plankton communities. Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  46. Steele, J.H. 1989. The ocean ‘landscape.’ Landscape Ecol. 3: 185–192.Google Scholar
  47. Turner, M.G. (ed.) 1987. Landscape Heterogeneity and Disturbance. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  48. Turner, M.G. 1989. Landscape ecology: the effect of pattern on process. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 20: 171–197.Google Scholar
  49. Turner, M.G., O'Neill, R.V., Gardner, R.H. and Milne, B.T. 1989. Effects of changing spatial scale on the analysis of landscape pattern. Landscape Ecol. 3: 153–162.Google Scholar
  50. Turner, S.J., O'Neill, R.V., Conley, W., Conley, M.R. and Humphries, H.C. Pattern and scale: statistics for landscape ecology. In Quantitative Methods in Landscape Ecology. Edited by M.G. Turner and R.H. Gardner. Springer-Verlag, New York (in press).Google Scholar
  51. van der Heijde, P.K.M. 1988. Spatial and temporal scales in groundwater modelling. In Scales and Global Change, pp. 195–224. Edited by T. Rosswall, R.G. Woodmansee and P.G. Risser. John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  52. Webster, R. 1985. Quantitative spatial analysis of soil in the field. In Advances in Soil Science, Vol. 3. pp. 2–70. Edited by B.A. Stewart. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  53. Wiens, J.A. Spatial scaling in ecology. Functional Ecology (in press).Google Scholar
  54. Woodcock, C.E. and Strahler, A.H. 1987. The factor of scale in remote sensing. Remote Sensing Environ. 21: 311–332.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© SPB Academic Publishing 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monica G. Turner
    • 1
  • Virginia H. Dale
    • 1
  • Robert H. Gardner
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

Personalised recommendations