Scale and Scaling in Ecological and Economic Systems

Jérôme Chave, Simon Asher Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We review various aspects of the notion of scale applied to natural systems, in particular complex adaptive systems. We argue that scaling issues are not only crucial from the standpoint of basic science, but also in many applied issues, and discuss tools for detecting and dealing with multiple scales, both spatial and temporal. We also suggest that the techniques of statistical mechanics, which have been successful in describing many emergent patterns in physical systems, can also prove useful in the study of complex adaptive systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-557
Number of pages31
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Criticality
  • Ecology
  • Economy
  • Scale
  • Statistical mechanics


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