About this Research Topic
The problem of scale is intimately linked to how ecosystem stability manifests across space and time. Depending on the scales at which ecosystem processes, perturbations, and observations take place, perceptions and manifestations of stability can vary greatly. Moreover, many different, complementary definitions and aspects of both scale and stability exist. Stability generally describes the tendency of systems to resist change, and remain in a similar state. Aspects of stability range from resilience which measures the speed of recovery from a single perturbation, to persistence which measures the tendency of avoiding collapse to a qualitatively different state. Scale is also multifaceted, and in particular includes the grain, which relates to the sampling resolution of a system, and the extent, which measures the physical size of the system. These intricacies of both stability and scale, as well as their interactions, mean that interpreting and translating results of scale and stability between different ecosystems is a fundamentally difficult problem. At the same time, it also offers ample opportunity to make use of scaling and stability knowledge, if we learn to leverage intrinsic relationships between them. Understanding how scale influences stability is therefore a fundamental challenge in ecology.
This Research Topic is dedicated to efforts to untangle the relationship between scale and stability, by focusing on three issues: 1) observing and understanding the differences in stability properties across scales, 2) developing methods that can be used to extrapolate between stability measures at different scales, 3) leveraging the differences between stability features at different scales to infer underlying ecosystem properties and processes. We are thus interested in the fundamental aspects of stability across scales (point 1), as well as its practical applications, moving both from process to pattern (point 2) and from pattern to process (point 3).
We welcome the submission of a wide range of articles that address the goal of this Research Topic, including: original research articles, reviews and syntheses, short communications, hypothesis and theory, and methods papers. Of particular interest are theoretical and methodological studies that address practical and empirical issues with scale, as well as empirical studies that test such theory.
Keywords: Stability, Scale, Space, Time, Perturbation, Dynamics
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.