What can ecological science contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of the natural systems that underpin human well-being? Bridging the natural, physical and social sciences, this book shows how ecosystem ecology can inform the ecosystem services approach to environmental management. The authors recognise that ecosystems are rich in linkages between biophysical and social elements that generate powerful intrinsic dynamics.
Unlike traditional reductionist approaches, the holistic perspective adopted here is able to explain the increasing range of scientific studies that have highlighted unexpected consequences of human activity, such as the lack of recovery of cod populations on the Grand Banks despite nearly two decades of fishery closures, or the degradation of Australia's fertile land through salt intrusion.
Written primarily for researchers and graduate students in ecology and environmental management, it provides an accessible discussion of some of the most important aspects of ecosystem ecology and the potential relationships between them.
The collection provides the reader with a clear overview of how we achieved our current position in ecosystem thinking, and the variety of conceptual strands that have contributed to its present fabric. Such a synthesis will provide clarity of thought when applying this approach to the many pressing problems of ecosystem management that we now face. It will be welcomed by both the theoretical researchers and the practical conservationists. Peter Moore, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
List of contributors; Preface; 1. The evolution of ecosystem ecology David G. Raffaelli and Christopher L. J. Frid; 2. Linking population, community and ecosystem ecology within mainstream ecology Andy Fenton and Matthew Spencer; 3. Thermodynamic approaches to ecosystem behaviour: fundamental principles with case studies from forest succession and management Paul C. Stoy; 4. Ecosystem health Piran C. L. White, James C. R. Smart, Anna R. Renwick and David G. Raffaelli; 5. Interdisciplinarity in ecosystems research: developing social robustness in environmental science Kevin Edson Jones and Odette A. L. Paramor; 6. The links between biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being Roy Haines-Young and Marion Potschin; 7. Ecosystem ecology and environmental management Christopher L. J. Frid and David G. Raffaelli; Index.
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David G. Raffaelli is Director of the UK's NERC Centre, UKPopNet. He has written extensively on aspects of ecosystem ecology, especially food webs and integrated catchment ecology, and more recently has become extensively involved with the ecosystem services approach to the management of natural resources within the UK and Europe through his work with DIVERSITAS, UKBRAG, the Royal Society's Global Environment Research Committee, Defra and the BES. Christopher L. J. Frid is Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool and a long standing member of the BES. He is a member of Defra's Marine Fisheries Science Advisory Group and the Council of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. He has written extensively on aspects of marine ecology and human impacts on marine ecosystems and has been a major proponent of the development of the ecosystem approach to marine management.