Standard Article


  1. Bradford A Hawkins1,
  2. José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003273.pub2



How to Cite

Hawkins, B. A. and Diniz-Filho, J. A. F. 2008. Macroecology. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

  2. 2

    Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiania, GO, Brazil

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2008


Macroecology is ecology at large spatial scales, focusing on identifying the ecological and evolutionary forces that influence patterns in body size, geographic range size, abundance, diversity and related macroevolutionary trends. The field has traditionally focused on across-species comparisons, but recent work has begun to analyse macroecological patterns from a geographical perspective. This change makes the links between ecological traits and diversity patterns more explicit and provides a unified approach for understanding a range of large-scale ecological patterns. Newly developed analytical methods also make it possible to partition geographical patterns into components comprising the species-level adaptive responses of assemblages to environmental gradients and phylogenetic patterns arising from species turnover. Macroecology is founded on the principle that the study of geographic-scale species assemblages can conceptually link a number of different biological disciplines.


  • biogeography;
  • biological diversity;
  • geographical ecology;
  • macroevolution