The ability to understand a given ecological process depends on the scale of observation.
Researchers reviewed recent studies focused on assessing the relative roles of factors operating at different scales and their influence on wildlife populations and behavior. The authors documented trends and advances in approaches used to assess the impact of drivers at different scales, highlighting recent advances in remote sensing-based data collection that can increase the range of scales over which detailed measurements can be made. Conclusions were that after nearly three decades of studies focused on the relative importance of different scales, there is no clear evidence that one scale consistently plays a larger role than others. Ecological systems are influenced by processes operating at different spatial scales that interact in complex ways. Heightened focus on these interactions may build a better understanding of which factors affect a given process, at what scales they operate, and how they change over time.
Lawler, J.J., Torgersen, C.E., 2019, Assessing the relative importance of factors at multiple spatial scales affecting terrestrial and aquatic wildlife: Current Landscape Ecology Reports, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40823-019-00047-3