Recent Progress on Spatial and Thematic Resolution in Landscape Ecology

Lechner, Alex Mark and Rhodes, Jonathan R. (2016) Recent Progress on Spatial and Thematic Resolution in Landscape Ecology. Current Landscape Ecology Reports, 1 (2). pp. 98-105. ISSN 2364-494X

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In this review we examine the past 5 years of landscape ecology research examining the effects of both spatial and thematic resolution on ecological analysis. While spatial resolution has been a topic of research for many decades, scale effects from thematic resolution have only recently been studied. Recent multi-scale analyses have demonstrated that the effects of thematic resolution on ecological analysis are comparable to spatial resolution and both spatial and thematic resolution interact. Additionally, spatial and thematic resolution can impact on multi-scale methods that are commonly used to identify the intrinsic scale—the scale at which ecological phenomena interact with the environment. A key aim of multi-scale analysis in landscape ecology is to characterise the scale-dependency of ecological processes, however, the interdisciplinary nature of landscape ecology means that research on scale has incorporated methods from a range of disciplines. These methods and concepts include: 1) multi-scale methods which characterise the sensitivity of an analysis to the modifiable areal unit problem, 2) spatial statistics for characterising the scale dependency of landscape patterns and identifying the optimal scale and 3) ecological theory describing intrinsic scales/domains of scales. We conclude by drawing on the existing literature to describe potential future areas of research to address the impacts of spatial and thematic resolution. We suggest further research on the effects of thematic resolution and conceptualising the scale continuum as multi-dimensional. We also identify mechanistic models and spatial statistics as a promising direction for future research.

Keywords:Landscape ecology, Multi-scale, Spatial resolution, spatial uncertainty, thematic resolution
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F810 Environmental Geography
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:42026
Deposited On:15 Oct 2020 08:09

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