Scale and scaling: A cross-disciplinary perspective

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

73 Scopus citations


Scale and heterogeneity are two key concepts in landscape ecology which are inherently related. Scale would matter little in a world where entities and relationships remain invariant across space or time, or in a landscape that is spatially or temporally homogeneous (i.e., uniform or random). However, real landscapes are heterogeneous biophysically and socioeconomically, and they must be treated as such for most questions and problems that interest us as scientists or citizens. Spatial heterogeneity the diversity of entities and their spatial arrangement is one of the most essential and unifying features of all natural and anthropogenic systems. Landscape heterogeneity is the manifestation of patchiness (discrete patterns) and gradients (continuous variations) that are intertwined across multiple spatial scales. Thus, scale is indispensable for describing and understanding landscape pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKey Topics in Landscape Ecology
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780511618581
ISBN (Print)9780521850940
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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