Scale Mismatches - Can Scale Be Misused?

Scale mismatches arise when the observational scale does not align with goals and objectives related to the functional scale of a natural phenomenon (Cumming et al. 2006). In studies, scale mismatches can arise when inappropriate spatial and temporal scales are selected to make observations, or when variables are used that are not relevant to the data at the selected scale. Scale mismatches in studies often results in unexpected and misleading findings. In management applications, scale mismatches arise when a natural phenomenon is managed or regulated at inappropriate scales and results in the failure to meet a desired goal. Scale mismatches in management applications often occur when the rate of a phenomenon in time and space does not match the rate of management. For example, when controlling the spread of invasive species, a scale mismatch arises when management of invasive species is outpaced by expansion of invasive species (Roberts et al. 2018).