The central concept guiding the management of parks and wilderness over the past century has been “naturalness”—to a large extent the explicit purpose in establishing these special areas was to keep them in their “natural” state. But what does that mean, particularly as the effects of stressors such as habitat fragmentation, altered disturbance regimes, pollution, invasive species, and climate change become both more pronounced and more pervasive?
Beyond Naturalness brings together leading scientists and policymakers to explore the concept of naturalness, its varied meanings, and the extent to which it provides adequate guidance regarding where, when, and how managers should intervene in ecosystem processes to protect park and wilderness values. The main conclusion is the idea that naturalness will continue to provide an important touchstone for protected area conservation, but that more specific goals and objectives are needed to guide stewardship.
The issues considered in Beyond Naturalness are central not just to conservation of parks, but to many areas of ecological thinking—including the fields of conservation biology and ecological restoration—and represent the cutting edge of discussions of both values and practice in the twenty-first century. This bookoffers excellent writing and focus, along with remarkable clarity of thought on some of the difficult questions being raised in light of new and changing stressors such as global environmental climate change.
Among the few organizations with substantial experience in conserving and managing large ecosystems is The Nature Conservancy (TNC) -- the largest private, nonprofit conservation organization in the world dedicated to preserving natural areas, whose efforts have led to the protection of more than nine million acres of land across the United States and Canada.For more than fourteen years, W. William Weeks has worked in various capacities for The Nature Conservancy -- as state director, chief operating officer, and, currently, as vice president and director of The Center for Compatible Economic Development. During that time he has developed a deeply personal understanding of TNC's underlying philosophy and guiding methodology, and has come to appreciate the complex interaction between landscapes and people that characterize all conservation efforts. In Beyond the Ark, Weeks weaves together anecdotes, personal reflection, and fascinating detail from past and current Nature Conservancy projects to present a lively and inspiring introduction to issues of land conservation and management, and to The Nature Conservancy's approach to conservation.The author begins with a general introduction to conservation, to conservation planning, to the history and philosophy of The Nature Conservancy, and to the popular but often vaguely defined notion of ecosystem management. He then presents a detailed account of the conservation planning discipline that is at the heart of The Nature Conservancy's approach. Weeks offers in-depth description and analysis of the planning process that TNC goes through for each project -- a process designed to lead to a comprehensive understanding of the ecological system under consideration, threats to it and their causes, strategies for addressing those threats, and a means of measuring success. He ends with a consideration of the implications of the approach described, and presents his own thoughts on various aspects of the larger context in which conservation efforts must function.Beyond the Ark is an insightful and illuminating overview of conservation and management issues. Featuring a wealth of practical information gleaned from a wide range of real-life projects, it provides invaluable guidance to all those working to protect our endangered natural resources.
Bridging the gap between local knowledge and western science is essential to understanding the world's ecosystems and the ways in which humans interact with and shape those ecosystems. This book brings together a group of world-class scientists in an unprecedented effort to build a formal framework for linking local and indigenous knowledge with the global scientific enterprise.
Contributors explore the challenges, costs, and benefits of bridging scales and knowledge systems in assessment processes and in resource management. Case studies look at a variety of efforts to bridge scales, providing important lessons concerning what has worked, what has not, and the costs and benefits associated with those efforts. Drawing on the groundbreaking work of the Millennium Eco-system Assessment, Bridging Scales and Knowledge Systems will be indispensable for future efforts to conduct ecosystem assessments around the world.
By the beginning of the twenty-first century, few people could deny the reality of global change. But while most alarm has been over increasing temperatures, other changes are occurring in precipitation patterns—variations that may be due in part to global warming but also to factors such as changes in atmospheric circulation and land surfaces.
This volume provides a central source of information about this newly emerging area of global change research. It presents ongoing investigations into the responses of plant communities and ecosystems to the experimental manipulation of precipitation in a variety of field settings—particularly in the western and central United States, where precipitation is already scarce or variable. By exploring methods that can be used to predict responses of ecosystems to changes in precipitation regimes, it demonstrates new approaches to global change research and highlights the importance of precipitation regimes in structuring ecosystems.
The contributors first document the importance of precipitation, soil characteristics, and soil moisture to plant life. They then focus on the roles of precipitation amount, seasonality, and frequency in shaping varied terrestrial ecosystems: desert, sagebrush steppe, oak savanna, tall- and mixed-grass prairie, and eastern deciduous forest. These case studies illustrate many complex, tightly woven, interactive relationships among precipitation, soils, and plants—relationships that will dictate the responses of ecosystems to changes in precipitation regimes.
The approaches utilized in these chapters include spatial comparisons of vegetation structure and function across different ecosytems; analyses of changes in plant architecture and physiology in response to temporal variation in precipitation; experiments to manipulate water availability; and modeling approaches that characterize the relationships between climate variables and vegetation types. All seek to assess vegetation responses to major shifts in climate that appear to be occurring at present and may become the norm in the future.
As the first volume to discuss and document current and cutting-edge concepts and approaches to research into changing precipitation regimes and terrestrial ecosystems, this book shows the importance of developing reliable predictions of the precipitation changes that may occur with global warming. These studies clearly demonstrate that patterns of environmental variation and the nature of vegetation responses are complex phenomena that are only beginning to be understood, and that these experimental approaches are critical for our understanding of future change.
Climate and Conservation presents case studies from around the world of leading-edge projects focused on climate change adaptation-regional-scale endeavors where scientists, managers, and practitioners are working to protect biodiversity by protecting landscapes and seascapes in response to threats posed by climate change.
The book begins with an introductory section that frames the issues and takes a systematic look at planning for climate change adaptation. The nineteen chapters that follow examine particular case studies in every part of the world, including landscapes and seascapes from equatorial, temperate, montane, polar, and marine and freshwater regions. Projects profiled range from North American grasslands to boreal forests to coral reefs to Alpine freshwater environments.
Chapter authors have extensive experience in their respective regions and are actively engaged in working on climate-related issues. The result is a collection of geographical case studies that allows for effective cross-comparison while at the same time recognizing the uniqueness of each situation and locale.
Climate and Conservation offers readers tangible, place-based examples of projects designed to protect large landscapes as a means of conserving biodiversity in the face of the looming threat of global climate change. It informs readers of how a diverse set of conservation actors have been responding to climate change at a scale that matches the problem, and is an essential contribution for anyone involved with large-scale biodiversity conservation.
Over the past decade, a sea change has occurred in the field of forestry. A vastly increased understanding of how ecological systems function has transformed the science from one focused on simplifying systems, producing wood, and managing at the stand-level to one concerned with understanding and managing complexity, providing a wide range of ecological goods and services, and managing across broad landscapes.Creating a Forestry for the 21st Century is an authoritative and multidisciplinary examination of the current state of forestry and its relation to the emergent field of ecosystem management. Drawing upon the expertise of top professionals in the field, it provides an up-to-date synthesis of principles of ecosystem management and their implications for forest policy. Leading scientists, including Malcolm Hunter, Jr., Bruce G. Marcot, James K. Agee, Thomas R. Crow, Robert J. Naiman, John C. Gordon, R.W. Behan, Steven L. Yaffee, and many others examine topics that are central to the future of forestry: new understandings of ecological processes and principles, from stand structure and function to disturbance processes and the movement of organisms across landscapes challenges to long-held assumptions: the rationale for clearcutting, the wisdom of short rotations, the exclusion of fire traditional tools in light of expanded goals for forest landscapes managing at larger spatial scales, including practical information and ideas for managing large landscapes over long time periods the economic, organizational, and political issues that are critical to implementing successful ecosystem management and developing institutions to transform knowledge into action Featuring a 16-page center section with color photographs that illustrate some of the best on-the-ground examples of ecosystem management from around the world, Creating a Forestry for the 21st Century is the definitive text on managing ecosystems. It provides a compelling case for thinking creatively beyond the bounds of traditional forest resource management, and will be essential reading for students; scientists working in state, federal, and private research institutions; public and private forest managers; staff members of environmental/conservation organizations; and policymakers.
One of the last undammed perennial rivers in the desert Southwest, the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona illustrates important processes common to many desert riparian ecosystems. Although historic land uses and climatic extremes have led to aquifer depletion, river entrenchment, and other changes, the river still sustains a rich and varied selection of life. Resilient to many factors, portions of the San Pedro have become increasingly threatened by groundwater pumping and other impacts of population growth.
This book provides an extensive knowledge base on all aspects of the San Pedro, from flora and fauna to hydrology and human use to preservation. It describes the ecological patterns and processes of this aridland river and explores both the ongoing science-driven efforts by nonprofit groups and government agencies to sustain and restore its riparian ecosystems and the science that supports these management decisions.
An interdisciplinary team of fifty-seven contributors—biologists, ecologists, geomorphologists, historians, hydrologists, lawyers, political scientists—weave together threads from their diverse perspectives to reveal the processes that shape the past, present, and future of the San Pedro’s riparian and aquatic ecosystems. They review the biological communities of the San Pedro and the stream hydrology and geomorphology that affect its riparian biota. They then look at conservation and management challenges along three sections of the San Pedro, from its headwaters in Mexico to its confluence with the Gila River, describing legal and policy issues and their interface with science; activities related to mitigation, conservation, and restoration; and a prognosis of the potential for sustaining the basin’s riparian system.
These chapters demonstrate the complexity of the San Pedro’s ecological and hydrological conditions, showing that there are no easy answers to the problems—and that existing laws are inadequate to fully address them. Collectively, they offer students, professionals, and environmental advocates a better grasp of the San Pedro’s status as well as important lessons for restoring physical processes and biotic communities to rivers in arid and semiarid regions.
Today's natural resource managers must be able to navigate among the complicated interactions and conflicting interests of diverse stakeholders and decisionmakers. Technical and scientific knowledge, though necessary, are not sufficient. Science is merely one component in a multifaceted world of decision making. And while the demands of resource management have changed greatly, natural resource education and textbooks have not. Until now.
Ecosystem Management represents a different kind of textbook for a different kind of course. It offers a new and exciting approach that engages students in active problem solving by using detailed landscape scenarios that reflect the complex issues and conflicting interests that face today's resource managers and scientists. Focusing on the application of the sciences of ecology and conservation biology to real-world concerns, it emphasizes the intricate ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional matrix in which natural resource management functions, and illustrates how to be more effective in that challenging arena.
Each chapter is rich with exercises to help facilitate problem-based learning. The main text is supplemented by boxes and figures that provide examples, perspectives, definitions, summaries, and learning tools, along with a variety of essays written by practitioners with on-the-ground experience in applying the principles of ecosystem management.
Accompanying the textbook is an instructor's manual that provides a detailed overview of the book and specific guidance on designing a course around it.
Ecosystem Management grew out of a training course developed and presented by the authors for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at its National Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. In 20 offerings to more than 600 natural resource professionals, the authors learned a great deal about what is needed to function successfully as a professional resource manager. The book offers important insights and a unique perspective dervied from that invaluable experience.
Ecosystems and Human Well-being is the first product of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a four-year international work program designed to meet the needs of decision-makers for scientific information on the links between ecosystem change and human well-being. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and will provide information requested by governments, through four international conventions, as well as meeting needs within the private sector and civil society. Ecosystems and Human Well-being offers an overview of the assessment, describing the conceptual framework that is being used, defining its scope and providing a baseline of understanding that all participants need to move forward.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment focuses on how humans have altered ecosystems, and how changes in ecosystems have affected human well-being. The assessment also evaluates how ecosystem changes may affect people in future decades and what responses can be adopted at local, national, or global scales to improve ecosystem management and thereby contribute to human well-being and poverty alleviation. The assessment was launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in June 2001, and the primary assessment reports will be released by Island Press in 2005.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment series is an invaluable new resource for professionals and policy-makers concerned with international development, environmental science, environmental policy, and related fields. It will help both in choosing among existing options and in identifying new approaches for achieving integrated management of land, water, and living resources while strengthening regional, national, and local capacities. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment series will also improve policy and decision-making at all levels by increasing collaboration between natural and social scientists, and between scientists and policy-makers. Ecosystems and Human Well-being is an essential introduction to the program.
Designed by a partnership of UN agencies, international scientific organizations, and development agencies, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is the most extensive study ever of the linkages between the world’s ecosystems and human well-being. The goal of the MA is to establish the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the contribution of ecosystems to human well-being without undermining their long-term productivity. With contributions by more than 500 scientists from 70 countries, the MA has proven to be one of the most important conservation initiatives ever undertaken, and the ecosystem services paradigm on which it is based provides the standard for practice. This manual supplies the specific tools that practitioners of the paradigm need in order to extend their work into the future.
The manual is a stand-alone “how to” guide to conducting assessments of the impacts on humans of ecosystem changes. In addition, assessment practitioners who are looking for guidance on particular aspects of the assessment process will find individual chapters of this manual to be useful in advancing their understanding of best practices in ecosystem assessment. The manual builds on the experiences and lessons learned from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment global and sub-global assessment initiatives, with chapters written by well-known participants in those initiatives. It also includes insights and experiences gained from a wider range of ecosystem service-focused assessment activities since the completion of the MA in 2005.
Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 years than in any comparable period of human history. We have done this to meet the growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber, and fuel. While changes to ecosystems have enhanced the well-being of billions of people, they have also caused a substantial and largely irreversible loss in diversity of life on Earth, and have strained the capacity of ecosystems to continue providing critical services.
Among the findings:
Approximately 60% of the services that support life on Earth are being degraded or used unsustainably. The harmful consequences of this degradation could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years.
Only four ecosystem services have been enhanced in the last 50 years: crops, livestock, aquaculture, and the sequestration of carbon.
The capacity of ecosystems to neutralize pollutants, protect us from natural disasters, and control the outbreaks of pests and diseases is declining significantly.
Terrestrial and freshwater systems are reaching the limits of their ability to absorb nitrogen.
Harvesting of fish and other resources from coastal and marine systems is compromising their ability to deliver food in the future.
Richly illustrated with maps and graphs, Current State and Trends presents an assessment of Earth's ability to provide twenty-four distinct services essential to human well-being. These include food, fiber, and other materials; the regulation of the climate and fresh water systems; underlying support systems such as nutrient cycling; and the fulfillment of cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic values. The volume pays particular attention to the current health of key ecosystems, including inland waters, forests, oceans, croplands, and dryland systems, among others. It will be an indispensable reference for scientists, environmentalists, agency professionals, and students.
One of the major innovations of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is the incorporation of local and regional assessmentsù33 in allùin a global portrait of the planetÆs health. It is the first global assessment of ecosystems to include not only a diversity of ecosystems, but to draw on a wide range of cultural orientations and intellectual traditions, including those of indigenous peoples.
The Sub-global Assessments Working Group integrated information from multiple sources and found that biophysical factors such as land-use change, climate change and variability, pollution, and invasive species have a significant effect on human well-being across cultures. For example, in places where there are no other social safety nets, diminished human well-being tends to increase immediate dependence on ecosystem services, which can damage the capacity of those local ecosystems, which in turn appears to increase the probability of natural disaster or conflict.
Representing the baseline and framework for ongoing assessments of ecosystem and human well-being on a variety of scales around the world, Multiscale Assessments provides students, researchers, and policy-makers with the most comprehensive methodology for assessing ecosystems at local, national, and regional scales.
Our Human Planet summarizes the findings of the four working groups and serves as a reference guide to the four main volumes in the MA series. It presents the key findings of each of the working groups, and meets the needs of policy makers and other professionals.
The summary also provides an overview of the framework used by the assessment, and will serve as a guide for assessment, planning, and management for the future.
With the knowledge of possible outcomes, what kind of actions should we take? The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment scored 74 response options for dealing with declines in ecosystem services and biodiversity, and managing drivers such as climate change and nutrient loading. This third volume in the MA series analyzes the track record of past policies and the potential of new ones.
The challenge of reversing the degradation of ecosystems while meeting increasing demands for their services can be met only with significant policy and institutional changes. However, a difficult set of obstacles stand in the way. Policy makers must keep in mind that there are both trade-offs and synergies between human well-being, ecosystems, and ecosystem services, and that decisions regarding these tradeoffs are difficult and often contentious. The Responses volume ultimately establishes which policy options have the greatest chance to overcome the obstacles and generate positive outcomes. It will serve as an invaluable guide to the creation of stronger policy frameworks for the future.
Scenarios are an invaluable tool for analyzing complex systems and understanding possible outcomes. This second volume of the MA series explores the implications of four different approaches for managing ecosystem services in the face of growing human demand for them:
The Global Orchestration approach, in which we emphasize equity, economic growth, and public goods, reacting to ecosystem problems when they reach critical stages.
Order from Strength, which emphasizes security and economic growth.
Adapting Mosaic, which emphasizes proactive management of ecosystems, local adaptation, and flexible governance.
TechnoGarden, a globalized approach with an emphasis on green technology and a proactive approach to managing ecosystems.
The Scenarios volume will help decision-makers and managers identify development paths that better maintain the resilience of ecosystems, and can reduce the risk of damage to human well-being and the environment.
Eben Kirksey Duke University Press, 2015 Library of Congress QH75.K58 2015
In an era of global warming, natural disasters, endangered species, and devastating pollution, contemporary writing on the environment largely focuses on doomsday scenarios. Eben Kirksey suggests we reject such apocalyptic thinking and instead find possibilities in the wreckage of ongoing disasters, as symbiotic associations of opportunistic plants, animals, and microbes are flourishing in unexpected places. Emergent Ecologies uses artwork and contemporary philosophy to illustrate hopeful opportunities and reframe key problems in conservation biology such as invasive species, extinction, environmental management, and reforestation. Following the flight of capital and nomadic forms of life—through fragmented landscapes of Panama, Costa Rica, and the United States—Kirksey explores how chance encounters, historical accidents, and parasitic invasions have shaped present and future multispecies communities. New generations of thinkers and tinkerers are learning how to care for emergent ecological assemblages—involving frogs, fungal pathogens, ants, monkeys, people, and plants—by seeding them, nurturing them, protecting them, and ultimately letting go.
Ecological resilience provides a theoretical foundation for understanding how complex systems adapt to and recover from localized disturbances like hurricanes, fires, pest outbreaks, and floods, as well as large-scale perturbations such as climate change. Ecologists have developed resilience theory over the past three decades in an effort to explain surprising and nonlinear dynamics of complex adaptive systems. Resilience theory is especially important to environmental scientists for its role in underpinning
adaptive management approaches to ecosystem and resource management.
Foundations of Ecological Resilience is a collection of the most important articles on the subject of ecological resilience— those writings that have defined and developed basic concepts in the field and help explain its importance and meaning for scientists and researchers.
The book’ s three sections cover articles that have shaped or defined the concepts and theories of resilience, including key papers that broke new conceptual ground and contributed novel ideas to the field; examples that demonstrate ecological resilience in a range of ecosystems; and articles that present practical methods for understanding and managing nonlinear ecosystem dynamics.
Foundations of Ecological Resilience is an important contribution to our collective understanding of resilience and an invaluable resource for students and scholars in ecology, wildlife ecology, conservation biology, sustainability, environmental science, public policy, and related fields.
The Freshwater Imperative: A Research Agenda
Robert J. Naiman, John J. Magnuson, Diane M. McKnight, and Jack A. Stanford; Foreword by Kathryn D. Sullivan Island Press, 1995 Library of Congress QH96.5.F74 1995 | Dewey Decimal 574.52632072
This volume summarizes the two-year effort of a working group of leading aquatic scientists sponsored by NSF, EPA, NASA, TVA, and NOAA to identify research opportunities and frontiers in freshwater sciences for this decade and beyond. The research agenda outlined focuses on issues of water availability, aquatic ecosystem integrity, and human health and safety. It is a consensus document that has been endorsed by all of the major professional organizations involved with freshwater issues.
Kruger National Park in South Africa has one of the most extensive sets of records of any protected area in the world, and throughout its history has supported connections between science and management. In recognition of that long-standing tradition comes The Kruger Experience, the first book to synthesize/summarize a century of ecological research and management in two million hectares of African savanna.
The Kruger Experience places the scientific and management experience in Kruger within the framework of modern ecological theory and its practical applications. The book uses a cross-cutting theme of ecological heterogeneity -- the idea that ecological systems function across a full hierarchy of physical and biological components, processes, and scales, in a dynamic space-time mosaic. Contributors, who include many esteemed ecologists who have worked in Kruger in recent years, examine a range of topics covering broad taxonomic groupings and ecological processes. The book's four sections explore:
the historical context of research and management in Kruger, the theme of heterogeneity, and the current philosophy in Kruger for linking science with management
the template of natural components and processes, as influenced by management, that determine the present state of the Kruger ecosystem
how species interact within the ecosystem to generate further heterogeneity across space and time
humans as key components of savanna ecosystems
In addition to the editors, contributors include William J. Bond, Jane Lubchenco, David Mabunda, Michael G.L. ("Gus") Mills, Robert J. Naiman, Norman Owen-Smith, Steward T.A. Pickett, Stuart L. Pimm, and Rober J. Scholes.
The book is an invaluable new resource for scientists and managers involved with large, conserved ecosystems as well as for conservation practitioners and others with interests in adaptive management, the societal context of conservation, links between research and management in parks, and parks/academic partnerships.
Large-Scale Ecosystem Restoration presents case studies of five of the most noteworthy large-scale restoration projects in the United States: Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, California Bay Delta, the Platte River Basin, and the Upper Mississippi River System. These projects embody current efforts to address ecosystem restoration in an integrative and dynamic manner, at large spatial scale, involving whole (or even multiple) watersheds, and with complex stakeholder and public roles.
Representing a variety of geographic regions and project structures, the cases shed light on the central controversies that have marked each project, outlining
• the history of the project
• the environmental challenges that generated it
• the difficulties of approaching the project on an ecosystem-wide basis
• techniques for conflict resolution and consensus building
• the ongoing role of science in decision making
• the means of dealing with uncertainties
A concluding chapter offers a guide to assessing the progress of largescale restoration projects.
Large-Scale Ecosystem Restoration examines some of the most difficult and important issues involved in restoring and protecting natural systems. It is a landmark publication for scientists, policymakers, and anyone working to protect or restore landscapes or watersheds.
The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services is the first comprehensive exploration of the status and future of natural capital and ecosystem services in American law and policy. The book develops a framework for thinking about ecosystem services across their ecologic, geographic, economic, social, and legal dimensions and evaluates the prospects of crafting a legal infrastructure that can help build an ecosystem service economy that is as robust as existing economies for manufactured goods, natural resource commodities, and human-provided services. The book examines the geographic, ecological, and economic context of ecosystem services and provides a baseline of the current status of ecosystem services in law and society. It identifies shortcomings of current law and policy and the critical areas for improvement and forges an approach for the design of new law and policy for ecosystem services.
Included are a series of nine empirical case studies that explore the problems caused by society’s failure to properly value natural capital. Among the case study topics considered are water issues, The Conservation Reserve Program, the National Conservation Buffer Initiative, the agricultural policy of the European Union, wetland mitigation, and pollution trading.
The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services is a groundbreaking look at the question of whether and how law and policy can shape a sustainable system of ecosystem service management. It is an accessible and informative work for faculty, students, and policy makers concerned with ecology, economics, geography, political science, environmental studies, law, and related fields.
Life in the Himalaya
Maharaj K. Pandit Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress QH193.H5P36 20217 | Dewey Decimal 333.72095496
The collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates 50 million years ago created the Himalaya, along with massive glaciers, intensified monsoon, turbulent rivers, and an efflorescence of ecosystems. Today, the Himalaya is at risk of catastrophic loss of life. Maharaj Pandit outlines the mountain’s past in order to map a way toward a sustainable future.
"In Lifelines, Tim Palmer addresses the fate of our waterways. While proposals for gigantic federal dams are no longer common, and some of the worst pollution has been brought under control, myriad other concerns have appeared -- many of them more subtle and complex than the threats of the past.Palmer examines the alarming condition of rivers in today's world, reports on the success in restoring some of our most polluted streams and in stopping destructive dams, and builds the case for what must be done to avoid the collapse of riparian ecosystems and to reclaim qualities we cannot do without. He documents the needs for a new level of awareness and suggests ways to avert the plunder of our remaining river legacy.Lifelines offers a fresh perspective on: the values of natural rivers current threats to streams and possibilities for reform the continuing challenge of hydropower development water quality, instream flows, and riparian habitat ecosystem management and watershed protection the need for vision, hope, and action
Both realism and justice demand that efforts to conserve biological diversity address human needs as well. The most promising hope of accomplishing such a goal lies in locally based conservation efforts -- an approach that seeks ways to make local communities the beneficiaries and custodians of conservation efforts.Natural Connections focuses on rural societies and the conservation of biodiversity in rural areas. It represents the first systematic analysis of locally based efforts, and includes a comprehensive examination of cases from around the world where the community-based approach is used. The book provides: an overview of community-based conservation in the context of the debate over sustainable development, poverty, and environmental decline case studies from the developed and developing worlds -- Indonesia, Peru, Australia, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom -- that present detailed examples of the locally based approach to conservation a review of the principal issues arising from community-based programs an agenda for future action
Life itself as well as the entire human economy depends on goods and services provided by earth's natural systems. The processes of cleansing, recycling, and renewal, along with goods such as seafood, forage, and timber, are worth many trillions of dollars annually, and nothing could live without them. Yet growing human impacts on the environment are profoundly disrupting the functioning of natural systems and imperiling the delivery of these services.Nature's Services brings together world-renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines to examine the character and value of ecosystem services, the damage that has been done to them, and the consequent implications for human society. Contributors including Paul R. Ehrlich, Donald Kennedy, Pamela A. Matson, Robert Costanza, Gary Paul Nabhan, Jane Lubchenco, Sandra Postel, and Norman Myers present a detailed synthesis of our current understanding of a suite of ecosystem services and a preliminary assessment of their economic value. Chapters consider: major services including climate regulation, soil fertility, pollination, and pest control philosophical and economic issues of valuation case studies of specific ecosystems and services implication of recent findings and steps that must be taken to address the most pressing concerns Nature's Services represents one of the first efforts by scientists to provide an overview of the many benefits and services that nature offers to people and the extent to which we are all vitally dependent on those services. The book enhances our understanding of the value of the natural systems that surround us and can play an essential role in encouraging greater efforts to protect the earth's basic life-support systems before it is too late.
As scientific understanding about ecological processes has grown, the idea that ecosystem dynamics are complex, nonlinear, and often unpredictable has gained prominence. Of particular importance is the idea that rather than following an inevitable progression toward an ultimate endpoint, some ecosystems may occur in a number of states depending on past and present ecological conditions. The emerging idea of “restoration thresholds” also enables scientists to recognize when ecological systems are likely to recover on their own and when active restoration efforts are needed.
Conceptual models based on alternative stable states and restoration thresholds can help inform restoration efforts. New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration brings together leading experts from around the world to explore how conceptual models of ecosystem dynamics can be applied to the recovery of degraded systems and how recent advances in our understanding of ecosystem and landscape dynamics can be translated into conceptual and practical frameworks for restoration.
In the first part of the book, background chapters present and discuss the basic concepts and models and explore the implications of new scientific research on restoration practice. The second part considers the dynamics and restoration of different ecosystems, ranging from arid lands to grasslands, woodlands, and savannahs, to forests and wetlands, to production landscapes. A summary chapter by the editors discusses the implications of theory and practice of the ideas described in preceding chapters.
New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration aims to widen the scope and increase the application of threshold models by critiquing their application in a wide range of ecosystem types. It will also help scientists and restorationists correctly diagnose ecosystem damage, identify restoration thresholds, and develop corrective methodologies that can overcome such thresholds.
Creating institutions to meet the challenge of sustainability is arguably the most important task confronting society; it is also dauntingly complex. Ecological, economic, and social elements all play a role, but despite ongoing efforts, researchers have yet to succeed in integrating the various disciplines in a way that gives adequate representation to the insights of each.Panarchy, a term devised to describe evolving hierarchical systems with multiple interrelated elements, offers an important new framework for understanding and resolving this dilemma. Panarchy is the structure in which systems, including those of nature (e.g., forests) and of humans (e.g., capitalism), as well as combined human-natural systems (e.g., institutions that govern natural resource use such as the Forest Service), are interlinked in continual adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring, and renewal. These transformational cycles take place at scales ranging from a drop of water to the biosphere, over periods from days to geologic epochs. By understanding these cycles and their scales, researchers can identify the points at which a system is capable of accepting positive change, and can use those leverage points to foster resilience and sustainability within the system.This volume brings together leading thinkers on the subject -- including Fikret Berkes, Buz Brock, Steve Carpenter, Carl Folke, Lance Gunderson, C.S. Holling, Don Ludwig, Karl-Goran Maler, Charles Perrings, Marten Scheffer, Brian Walker, and Frances Westley -- to develop and examine the concept of panarchy and to consider how it can be applied to human, natural, and human-natural systems. Throughout, contributors seek to identify adaptive approaches to management that recognize uncertainty and encourage innovation while fostering resilience.The book is a fundamental new development in a widely acclaimed line of inquiry. It represents the first step in integrating disciplinary knowledge for the adaptive management of human-natural systems across widely divergent scales, and offers an important base of knowledge from which institutions for adaptive management can be developed. It will be an invaluable source of ideas and understanding for students, researchers, and professionals involved with ecology, conservation biology, ecological economics, environmental policy, or related fields.
The area of native prairie known as the Great Plains once extended from Canada to the Mexican border and from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to western Indiana and Wisconsin. Today the declines in prairie landscape types, estimated to be as high as 99%, exceed those of any other major ecosystem in North America. The overwhelming loss of landscape and accompanying loss of species constitute a real threat to both ecological and human economic health.Prairie Conservation is a comprehensive examination of the history, ecology, and current status of North American grasslands. It presents for the first time in a single volume information on the historical, economic, and cultural significance of prairies, their natural history and ecology, threats, and conservation and restoration programs currently underway. Chapters cover: environmental history of the Great Plains the economic value of prairie prairie types -- tallgrass, mixed grass, shortgrass, wetlands -- and the ecological processes that sustain each type prairie fauna -- invertebrates, fish and other aquatic creatures, amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals conservation programs such as the Great Plains Partnership, Canada's Prairie Conservation Action Plan, the U.S. Prairie Pothole Joint Venture, and others The book brings together knowledge and insights from a wide range of experts to describe and explain the importance of prairies and to position them in the forefront of North American conservation efforts. Praire Conservation is an essential reference for anyone interested in prairie ecology and conservation and will play a critical role in broadening our awareness and understanding of prairie ecosystems.
Recent advances in remote-sensing technology and the processing of remote-sensing data through geographic information systems (GIS) present ecologists and resource managers with a tremendously valuable tool -- but only if they are able to understand its capabilities and capture its potential.Remote Sensing and GIS in Ecosystem Management identifies and articulates current and emerging information needs of those involved with the management of forest ecosystems. It explores the potential of remote-sensing/GIS technologies to address those needs, examining: the need for landscape-scale analysis to support forest ecosystem research and management current challenges in the development of remote-sensing/GIS applications case studies of different forest regions in the United States the potential for further development or declassification of military and aerospace remote-sensing/GIS technologies As well as providing important information for ecologists and resource managers, the book will serve as a valuable resource for legislative and judicial policymakers who do not have a technical background in either remote sensing or resource management but who are nonetheless called upon to make decisions regarding the protection and management of forest ecosystems.
The conventional approach to river protection has focused on water quality and maintaining some ""minimum"" flow that was thought necessary to ensure the viability of a river. In recent years, however, scientific research has underscored the idea that the ecological health of a river system depends not on a minimum amount of water at any one time but on the naturally variable quantity and timing of flows throughout the year.
In Rivers for Life, leading water experts Sandra Postel and Brian Richter explain why restoring and preserving more natural river flows are key to sustaining freshwater biodiversity and healthy river systems, and describe innovative policies, scientific approaches, and management reforms for achieving those goals. Sandra Postel and Brian Richter: explain the value of healthy rivers to human and ecosystem health; describe the ecological processes that support river ecosystems and how they have been disrupted by dams, diversions, and other alterations; consider the scientific basis for determining how much water a river needs; examine new management paradigms focused on restoring flow patterns and sustaining ecological health; assess the policy options available for managing rivers and other freshwater systems; explore building blocks for better river governance
Sandra Postel and Brian Richter offer case studies of river management from the United States (the San Pedro, Green, and Missouri), Australia (the Brisbane), and South Africa (the Sabie), along with numerous examples of new and innovative policy approaches that are being implemented in those and other countries.
Rivers for Life presents a global perspective on the challenges of managing water for people and nature, with a concise yet comprehensive overview of the relevant science, policy, and management issues. It presents exciting and inspirational information for anyone concerned with water policy, planning and management, river conservation, freshwater biodiversity, or related topics.
Written by two leading conservation biologists, Saving Nature's Legacy is a thorough and readable introduction to issues of land management and conservation biology. It presents a broad, land-based approach to biodiversity conservation in the United States, with the authors succinctly translating principles, techniques, and findings of the ecological sciences into an accessible and practical plan for action.After laying the groundwork for biodiversity conservation -- what biodiversity is, why it is important, its status in North America -- Noss and Cooperrider consider the strengths and limitations of past and current approaches to land management. They then present the framework for a bold new strategy, with explicit guidelines on: inventorying biodiversityselecting areas for protection designing regional and continental reserve networks establishing monitoring programssetting priorities for getting the job done Throughout the volume, the authors provide in-depth assessments of what must be done to protect and restore the full spectrum of native biodiversity to the North American continent.
Our national parks are more than mere recreational destinations. They are repositories of the nation's biological diversity and contain some of the last ecosystem remnants needed as standards to set reasonable goals for sustainable development throughout the land. Nevertheless, public pressure for recreation has largely precluded adequate research and resource monitoring in national parks, and ignorance of ecosystem structure and function in parks has led to costly mistakes--such as predator control and fire suppression--that continue to threaten parks today. This volume demonstrates the value of ecological knowledge in protecting parks and shows how modest investments in knowledge of park ecosystems can pay handsome dividends. Science and Ecosystem Management in the National Parks presents twelve case studies of long-term research conducted in and around national parks that address major natural resource issues. These cases demonstrate how the use of longer time scales strongly influence our understanding of ecosystems and how interpretations of short-term patterns in nature often change when viewed in the context of long-term data sets. Most importantly, they show conclusively that scientific research significantly reduces uncertainty and improves resource management decisions. Chosen by scientists and senior park managers, the cases offer a broad range of topics, including: air quality at Grand Canyon; interaction between moose and wolf populations on Isle Royale; control of exotic species in Hawaiian parks; simulation of natural fire in the parks of the Sierra Nevada; and the impact of urban expansion on Saguaro National Monument. Because national parks are increasingly beset with conflicting views of their management, the need for knowledge of park ecosystems becomes even more critical--not only for the parks themselves, but for what they can tell us about survival in the rest of our world. This book demonstrates to policymakers and managers that decisions based on knowledge of ecosystems are more enduring and cost effective than decisions derived from uninformed consensus. It also provides scientists with models for designing research to meet threats to our most precious natural resources. "If we can learn to save the parks," observe Halvorson and Davis, "perhaps we can learn to save the world."
Contents I. Introduction
1. Natural Resources Management in U.S. National Parks: Evolving from Belief to Science
2. Management in National Parks: from Scenery to Science II. Long-term Versus Short-term Views
3. Fire Research and Management in the Sierra Nevada National Parks
4. Yellowstone Lake and Its Cutthroat Trout
5. Moose and Wolf Populations on Isle Royale National Park
6. Saguaro Cactus Dynamics
7. Alien Species in Hawaiian National Parks III. No Park Is an Island
8. Water Rights and Devil's Hole Pupfish at Death Valley National Monument
9. Urban Encroachment at Saguaro National Monument
10. Karst Hydrological Research at Mammoth Cave National Park
11. Air Quality in Grand Canyon
IV. Protection Versus Use
12. Rare Plant Monitoring at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
13. Wilderness Research and Management in the Sierra Nevada National Parks
14. River Management at Ozark National Scenic Riverways
V. Summary and Analysis
15. Summary of Long-term Research Applied to Major Resource Issues in U.S. National Parks
16. Lessons Learned from a Century of Applying Research Results to Management of National Parks
Serengeti II: Dynamics, Management, and Conservation of an Ecosystem brings together twenty years of research by leading scientists to provide the most most thorough understanding to date of the spectacular Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa, home to one of the largest and most diverse populations of animals in the world.
Building on the groundwork laid by the classic Serengeti: Dynamics of an Ecosystem, published in 1979 by the University of Chicago Press, this new book integrates studies of the ecosystem at every level—from the plants at the bottom of the visible food chain, to the many species of herbivores and predators, to the system as a whole. Drawing on new data from many long-term studies and from more recent research initiatives, and applying new theory and computer technology, the contributors examine the large-scale processes that have produced the Serengeti's extraordinary biological diversity, as well as the interactions among species and between plants and animals and their environment. They also introduce computer modeling as a tool for exploring these interactions, employing this new technology to test and anticipate the effects of social, political, and economic changes on the entire ecosystem and on particular species, and so to shape future conservation and management strategies.
The vast savannas and great migrations of the Serengeti conjure impressions of a harmonious and balanced ecosystem. But in reality, the history of the Serengeti is rife with battles between human and non-human nature. In the 1890s and several times since, the cattle virus rinderpest—at last vanquished in 2008—devastated both domesticated and wild ungulate populations, as well as the lives of humans and other animals who depended on them. In the 1920s, tourists armed with the world’s most expensive hunting gear filled the grasslands. And in recent years, violence in Tanzania has threatened one of the most successful long-term ecological research centers in history.
Serengeti IV, the latest installment in a long-standing series on the region’s ecology and biodiversity, explores the role of our species as a source of both discord and balance in Serengeti ecosystem dynamics. Through chapters charting the complexities of infectious disease transmission across populations, agricultural expansion, and the many challenges of managing this ecosystem today, this book shows how the people and landscapes surrounding crucial protected areas like Serengeti National Park can and must contribute to Serengeti conservation. In order to succeed, conservation efforts must also focus on the welfare of indigenous peoples, allowing them both to sustain their agricultural practices and to benefit from the natural resources provided by protected areas—an undertaking that will require the strengthening of government and education systems and, as such, will present one of the greatest conservation challenges of the next century.
Sustaining Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Soils and Sediments brings together the world's leading ecologists, systematists, and evolutionary biologists to present scientific information that integrates soil and sediment disciplines across terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. It offers a framework for a new discipline, one that will allow future scientists to consider the linkages of biodiversity below-surface, and how biota interact to provide the essential ecosystemservices needed for sustainable soils and sediments.
Contributors consider key-questions regarding soils and sediments and the relationship between soil- and sediment- dwelling organisms and overall ecosystem functioning. The book is an important new synthesis for scientists and researchers studying a range of topics, including global sustainability, conservation biology, taxonomy, erosion, extreme systems, food production, and related fields. In addition, it provides new insight and understanding for managers, policymakers, and others concerned with global environmental sustainability and global change issues.
When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska in 1989 and spilled 11 million gallons of oil, it changed Prince William Sound forever. The catastrophe disrupted the region’s biological system, killing countless animals and poisoning habitats that to this day no longer support some of the local species. The effects have also profoundly altered the way people use this region.
Nearly three decades later, changes in recreation use run counter to what was initially expected. Instead of avoiding Prince William Sound, tourists and visitors flock there. Economic revitalization efforts have resulted in increased wilderness access as new commercial enterprises offer nature tourism in remote bays and fjords. This increased visitation has caused concerns that the wilderness may again be threatened—not by oil but rather by the very humans seeking those wilderness experiences.
In Sustaining Wildlands, scientists and managers, along with local community residents, address what has come to be a central paradox in public lands management: the need to accommodate increasing human use while reducing the environmental impact of those activities. This volume draws on diverse efforts and perspectives to dissect this paradox, offering an alternative approach where human use is central to sustaining wildlands and recovering a damaged ecosystem like Prince William Sound.
Brad A. Andres, Chris Beck, Nancy Bird, Dale J. Blahna, Harold Blehm, Sara Boario, Bridget A. Brown, Courtney Brown, Greg Brown, Milo Burcham, Kristin Carpenter, Ted Cooney, Patience Andersen Faulkner, Maryann Smith Fidel, Jessica B. Fraver, Jennifer Gessert, Randy Gimblett, Michael I. Goldstein, Samantha Greenwood, Lynn Highland, Marybeth Holleman, Shay Howlin, Tanya Iden, Robert M. Itami, Lisa Jaeger, Laura A. Kennedy, Spencer Lace, Nancy Lethcoe, Kate McLaughlin, Rosa H. Meehan, Christopher Monz, Karen A. Murphy, Lisa Oakley, Aaron J. Poe, Chandra B. Poe, Karin Preston, Jeremy Robida, Clare M. Ryan, Gerry Sanger, Bill Sherwonit, Lowell H. Suring, Paul Twardock, Sarah Warnock, and Sadie Youngstrom
In order to ensure sustainable use of their shared marine resources, the nations of the West Caribbean Region must adopt an approach that encompasses both the human and natural dimensions of ecosystems. This volume directly contributes to that vision, bringing together the collective knowledge and experience of scholars and practitioners within the wider Caribbean to assemble a road map towards marine ecosystem based management for the region. The research presented here will be used not only as a training tool for graduate students, but also as comparative example and guide for stakeholders and policy makers in each of the world’s sixty-four large marine ecosystems.
The idea that humans can effectively "manage" nature -- that we can successfully manipulate and control our environment to meet our needs and satisfy our desires -- is almost universally accepted in today's society. While we may be aware that nearly all significant environmental problems are caused by human actions, we remain convinced that the key to solving these problems is "better management."
In Unmanaged Landscapes, editor Bill Willers brings together an insightful and thought-provoking selection of writings that challenge that assumption. Written between the mid-nineteenth century and the late 1990s, the pieces range from two paragraphs written in response to an exam question to tightly reasoned philosophical arguments. They offer the thoughts, stories, and analysis of scientists, journalists, philosophers, historians, educators, and others who have considered the effects and implications of "resource management," and have found themselves in favor of keeping some landscapes free from human interference.
The collection is divided into three sections: one that focuses on biology and ecology, one that examines the idea of wildness from the standpoint of human society and its economic concerns, and a third that considers philosophical and spiritual aspects of wildness. Featured are works from leading environmental thinkers including Rachel Carlson, George Wuerthner, Joanna Macy, Paul Shepard, David Orr, John Burroughs, David Ehrenfeld, Arne Naess, Bill McKibben, Donald Worster, Carolyn Merchant, Rick Bass, and many others.
As Willers explains in his introduction, "If wildness and wild creatures are to survive on Earth, so then must unmanaged landscapes, for they are the fountainheads of the wildness that Henry Thoreau taught is the preservation of the world. They are the blank spots on the map longed for by Aldo Leopold." Unmanaged Landscapes presents a compelling argument for protecting and restoring that wildness.
The world's first national park is constantly changing. How we understand and respond to recent events putting species under stress will determine the future of ecosystems millions of years in the making. Marshaling expertise from over 30 contributors, Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition examines three primary challenges to the park's ecology.