Environmental Management

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 271–275 | Cite as

The factor of scale in ecosystem mapping

  • Robert G. Bailey


Ecosystems come in many scales or relative sizes. The relationships between an ecosystem at one scale and ecosystems at smaller or larger scales must be examined in order to predict the effects of management prescriptions on resource outputs. A disturbance to an ecosystem may affect smaller component ecosystems, which are encompassed in larger systems that control the operation of the smaller systems. Environmental factors important in controlling ecosystem size change in nature with the scale of observation. This article reviews those environmental factors that are thought to be useful in recognizing and mapping ecosystems at various scales.

Key words

Ecosystem Landscape ecology Resource surveys Mapping scale Maps 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Bailey
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington Office Land Management Planning StaffUSDA Forest ServiceFort CollinsUSA

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