scalar abundance?

< Previous | Next >

vichy

Senior Member
mongolian
Dear all,

I got into translating the following sentence which has so much twised meanings (in my opinion). Could you please help me understanding the nasty word "scalar abundance"? Is that correct to interpret it as "a wide range of scalings"? Thanks a lot for taking time!

In ecotoxicology, the most commonly used population simulation models are generic models that take into account organism life history characteristics and involve scalar abundance, such as the logistic growh model or the estimation of a direct inhibition of population growth rates by a chemical via measurements of reproduction or mortality rates.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I only know 'scalar' as a technical term in other fields: in mathematics and physics a scalar is a pure number, not a vector or tensor; and in linguistics, adjectives are scalar if there can be greater or lesser degrees of them. In your sentence it seems to be an adjective in this way, "relating to a scale", or "on a scale", but it's not a usage I'm familiar with. Your guess is possibly as good as mine here. If you can read the rest of that sentence, you probably know more about biology than I do and your guess at the meaning might be better.
     

    vichy

    Senior Member
    mongolian
    Dear entangledbank,

    Thank you for your answer. The thing is, I also have no idea what it can be in biology. Because a friend of mine studies biology and asked me to translate this sentence. I would ask her to give me more sentences so that I can have better idea. Thanks a lot!

    For Andygc:
    As I was given by a friend, I can not supply with the source yet, sorry. Maybe by tomorrow I would put it.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I only know 'scalar' as a technical term in other fields: in mathematics and physics a scalar is a pure number, not a vector or tensor; and in linguistics, adjectives are scalar if there can be greater or lesser degrees of them. In your sentence it seems to be an adjective in this way, "relating to a scale", or "on a scale", but it's not a usage I'm familiar with. Your guess is possibly as good as mine here. If you can read the rest of that sentence, you probably know more about biology than I do and your guess at the meaning might be better.
    The rest of the sentence describes items that have no geographical or geometric component, such as one might hope to find in describing "ecosystems" in the real world, especially their interactions with respect to spatial concerns. Those would need the suggested vectorial or 2-3 dimensional components for good modeling. My suspicion is that the use of scalar above is intended to highlight the deficiencies of mathematical models that only use magnitudes (scalar quantities).

    As an illustration, water-borne pollutants tend to move downhill and unless this is included in a model assessing their rate of diffusion through a popuatiion of susceptible species, it will be a poor predictor of the outcome.
     

    vichy

    Senior Member
    mongolian
    Oh wow! I am more than thankful to JulianStuart and PaulQ! You helped me a lot!
    JulianStuart, I think now I see what is the message in here. Thank you so much!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top