SCALE ISSUES WHEN CROSSING DATA FROM DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES: CASE STUDIES FROM AQUATIC ECOLOGY
Ecologists often work towards explaining how communities vary in space and time. Firstly, when studying the structure of natural communities, ecologists are often confronted to the issue of the taxonomic resolution needed to emphasize patterns characterizing the communities of interest at a particular scale. This issue, illustrated by the ‘taxonomic sufficiency’ concept, will be discussed based on examples from various aquatic communities. Secondly, many of the factors hypothesized to influence aquatic communities are physical oceanographic or meteorological variables. Crossing data among physical oceanography, meteorology and biology into sound statistical frameworks poses many challenges in terms of the level of details and data resolution within each disciplinary component. Several case studies will be discussed to illustrate such compromises.