The era of continental-scale ecology

TitleThe era of continental-scale ecology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSchimel, D
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Extending insights from ecology to the development of science-based principles in order to promote the stew-ardship of a human-dominated planet must engage the best minds of a generation. To effectively informsuch planetary decision-making, practitioners of ecology will have to address environmental interactions atincreasingly large scales. For example, managing biological invasions requires that scientists address issues ofspecies interactions and resource use in the face of unprecedented transport capabilities that can move organismsacross huge distances. Likewise, managing the global carbon cycle, and therefore the climate system, requiresobserving and forecasting biogeochemical processes consistently – from the scale of individual management pro-jects to that of the entire world. Such challenges will require that ecologists apply the discipline’s knowledge ofthe living world not just at well-studied local sites but across regions, continents, and ultimately the planet.


All arrays