1932

Abstract

Ecological thresholds comprise relatively fast changes in ecological conditions, with respect to time or external drivers, and are an attractive concept in both scientific and policy arenas. However, there is considerable debate concerning the existence, underlying mechanisms, and generalizability of ecological thresholds across a range of ecological subdisciplines. Here, we usethe general concept of scale as a unifying framework with which to systematically navigate the variability within ecological threshold research. We review the literature to show how the observational scale adopted in any one study, defined by its organizational level, spatiotemporal grain and extent, and analytical method, can influence threshold detection and magnitude. We highlight a need for nuance in synthetic studies of thresholds, which could improve our predictive understanding of thresholds. Nuance is also needed when translating threshold concepts into policies, including threshold contingencies and uncertainties.

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2022-10-17
2024-06-23
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