Data from: The spatial scale of a species’ response to the landscape context depends on which biological response you measure

Published: 13-02-2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/sv444hpkk5.1
Amanda Martin


Abstract of associated article: Purpose of Review: Our ability to detect effects of the landscape context on wildlife often depends on the spatial scale at which environmental variables are measured. Theory suggests that the scale at which the species most strongly responds to this context—its scale of effect—should depend on the type of biological response. This is hypothesized to occur because the temporal scale regulating the response is linked to the spatial scale at which the species interacts with its environment; i.e. the scale of effect should be larger for responses influenced by forces acting over longer time periods. Here I test the prediction that the scale of effect increases in the order: fecundity < abundance < occurrence < genetic diversity, using a quantitative review of studies that empirically estimated scales of effect. Recent Findings: The scale of effect of a given environmental variable depended on the type of response in 70% of the 145 cases identified in this review. However, scales of effect did not increase in the predicted order. This is likely, at least in part, because some studies did not include a wide enough range of scales in their analyses to accurately estimate the scales of effect. Summary: Future research is needed to test this prediction using study designs that allow for accurate estimation of scales of effect. Nevertheless, my results have implications for wildlife research and landscape management, suggesting that we cannot assume that a species responds to its landscape context at only one scale.