US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Ecological dynamics at broad scales
Year of Publication
Number of Pages
response to environmental problems, such as global climate change, land-use change, habitat fragmentation, and loss of biodiversity, ecologists are expanding the scope and scale of their inquiry. The landscape has emerged as a new and exciting level of ecological study (e.g., Forman and Godron 1986, Risser et al. 1983, Turner 1989). Concurrently, emerging paradigms of ecosystem sustainability (e.g., Lubchenco et al. 1991) and ecosystem management (e.g., Agee and Johnson 1988, Slocombe 1993) have encouraged researchers to pursue an understanding of ecological dynamics across broad scales. In addition, the widespread availability of remote sensing imagery, geographic information systems, and high-power desktop computing now permits sophisticated spatial analyses. Indeed, spatial dynamics are considered one of the frontiers of ecology (Kareiva 1994, Levin 1992). Current trends in research and land management suggest that the broad-scale focus in ecology is likely to remain prominent for some time. In this article, we review issues associated with biodiversity at broad scales and suggest some important research needs.