Ecologists are often asked to contribute to solutions for broadscale problems. The extent of most ecological research is relatively limited, however, necessitating extrapolation to broader scales or to new locations. Spatial extrapolation in ecology tends to follow a general framework in which (a) the objectives are defined and a conceptual model is derived; (b) a statistical or simulation model is developed to generate predictions, possibly entailing scaling functions when extrapolating to broad scales; and (c) the results are evaluated against new data. In this article, we examine the application of this framework in a variety of contexts, using examples from the scientific literature. We conclude by discussing the challenges, limitations, and future prospects for extrapolation.
|Number of pages
|Published - Apr 2004
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences