The authors designed the collection of reports to demonstrate the interrelationships of human and ecosystem productivity, as well as the interrelationships of species, climate, and landscape. By properly managing ecosystems, they say, we are also managing their potential to harm or help society. The variability of the natural world demands equal creativity and flexibility in considering a range of complementary solutions to environmental problems.
The Special Issue tackles five major topics of concern:
Ecologists have predicted that species will move out of their historic ranges as climate changes and their old territories become inhospitable. This is already occurring. Past predictions that species would seek out historic temperature conditions by moving up latitudes, uphill, or into deeper waters have turned out to be too simple, as species movements have proven to be idiosyncratic. Because some species can move and cope with change more easily than others, relationships between species are changing, sometimes in ways that threaten viability, as interdependent species are separated in time and space.
Living things have powerful influences on the lands and waters they occupy. As existing ecosystems unravel, we are seeing the chemistry and hydrology of the physical environment change, with further feedback effects on the ecosystem. Ecosystem changes, in turn, feed back to climate.
Impacts on natural systems have direct consequences for crop and seafood production, water quality and availability, storm damage, and fire intensity. Working with rather than against, ecosystems may help society to adapt
|Contact: Liza Lester|
Ecological Society of America