Order of authorship was determined by a coin flip.
Article first published online: 12 JUL 2006
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 15, Issue 5, pages 433–437, September 2006
How to Cite
Ruggiero, A. and Hawkins, B. A. (2006), Mapping macroecology. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 15: 433–437. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2006.00238.x
- Issue published online: 12 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 12 JUL 2006
- geographical ecology;
- spatial autocorrelation;
- spatial structure
Although macroecology arose from geographical ecology, it has diverted from a geographical perspective. At present, most macroecological studies use a statistical approach that adopts an ‘individual species focus’ and relies on comparisons between species to test for broad-scale ecological patterns. Sometimes, space is included as part of the analysis, but almost always in a single dimension. In both situations, observed relationships are depicted using bivariate scatter-plots. We argue that current macroecological approaches may interfere with our perception of patterns and have important implications for their biological interpretation. We use the literature concerned with spatial variation in the range sizes of species (Rapoport's rule) to illustrate our point of view. Given the current lack of maps actually showing the patterns we are trying to explain, we contend that macroecology could benefit greatly by returning to its geographical roots, at least when data contain spatial structure.