The novelty of this book is a strong focus on perception, perspectives and prediction by scientists with profound insight into the ecology of ecosystems or into human demands and activity. The challenge is to bridge empirical data and the knowledge of the past to the possibilities of performance in the future. The contributors assume that there is scope for more cooperation between the fields of ecology and practical philosophy or other social sciences in organising ecosystems and shaping the cultural future of humankind and that such collaboration should be accorded considerably more priority. This book deals with environmental processes seen within a framework of the nature of ecosystems and human cultures. The future of the environment, the development of ecosystems and effective nature conservation management are the essentials of this book. Human nature and culture, and in particular their interactions, are interpreted as a set of rules and as given. The aim is not only to assess the significance of human influence on species composition and biodiversity but also to weigh up the subsequent potentials for action. In this book, the contributors analyze the problems independently of one another, even if they are interconnected.
This book focuses on perspectives and prognoses for the impacts of anthropogenic activity on ecosystems and thus on species conservation. Its goal is to improve assessments of the impacts of human activity on the environment. The contributors are aware that prognoses have very often proven to be false. It is difficult to impossible to be able to predict with precision how evolution and ecosystems will change in future under anthropogenic influence. This strengthens their resolve to attempt to retain the highest possible degree of scientific integrity and professionalism and not to shy away from expressing the uncertainty of their own ideas and prognoses. The contributors venture prognoses in this book and they will fail. However, they hope that they will be wrong on the right side.
Carsten Hobohm, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil., is a full professor at the University of Flensburg since 2006 and head of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Education (Ökologie und Umweltbildung).