Phylogenetic scale in ecology and evolution

Aim: Many important patterns and processes vary across the phylogeny and depend on phyloge-netic scale. Nonetheless, phylogenetic scale has never been formally conceptualized, and its potential remains largely unexplored. Here, we formalize the concept of phylogenetic scale, review how phylogenetic scale has been considered across multiple fields and provide practical guidelines for the use of phylogenetic scale to address a range of biological questions. Innovation: We summarize how phylogenetic scale has been treated in macroevolution, commu-nity ecology, biogeography and macroecology, illustrating how it can inform, and possibly resolve, some of the longstanding controversies in these fields. To promote the concept empirically, we define phylogenetic grain and extent, scale dependence, scaling and the domains of phylogenetic scale. We illustrate how existing phylogenetic data and statistical tools can be used to investigate the effects of scale on a variety of well-known patterns and processes, including diversification rates, community structure, niche conservatism or species-abundance distributions. Main conclusions: Explicit consideration of phylogenetic scale can provide new and more com-plete insight into many longstanding questions across multiple fields (macroevolution, community ecology, biogeography and macroecology). Building on the existing resources and isolated efforts across fields, future research centred on phylogenetic scale might enrich our understanding of the processes that together, but over different scales, shape the diversity of life.