Scale Relevant to Ecological & Management Processess

A challenge in applying field or remote sensing data to rangeland assessment and monitoring is how to define the scale (grain & extent) appropriate to the process being measured and the management objective. The ability to detect a trend, pattern, or event is often a product of the observation scale and selecting the wrong scale can make it difficult to detect important trends and patterns. The Landscape Toolbox is built around an information framework for rangelands that allows the right scales for analysis to be determined and different pieces of information to be brought together, organized and applied at the appropriate scales to answer specific management questions.

Asking the same question at different scales: an example

Several methods exist for examing the effects of scale on observations of ecological processes in order to select relevant scales for assessment and monitoring. All of these methods, however, require either some pre-existing knowledge about the key process(es) or some empirical data collected in a manner that allows the effects of scale to be examined. Some of these methods are variogram analysis and object based image analysis.

Knowing the appropriate spatial scale for your ecological process of interest can help you better select monitoring and assessment tools and methods. The Methods Guide is designed to incorporate specified scale when suggesting tools and methods that can assist with your management or research objective.

To learn much more about examining ecological scale, please read the following papers: