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Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Land Ecology Essay II: Thresholds, novel ecosystems, and the sanctity of history

Author
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/16/2015
Publication Date: 12/9/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62517
Citation: Bestelmeyer, B.T. 2015. Land Ecology Essay II: Thresholds, novel ecosystems, and the sanctity of history. Rangelands. 37:244-246.

Interpretive Summary: This essay describes the tension between those promotin the concepo of novel ecosystems and those that feel this idea threatens conservation. I conclude that the novel ecosystems concept complements management approaches focused on preserving historical ecosystems. Moreover, a novel ecosystems focus can advance the preservation of rangelands in the face of land use conversion pressures.

Technical Abstract: How is an ecosystem supposed to be? The answers determine how millions of dollars are spent and how ecosystems are transformed (or ignored), with effects lasting centuries. Conflict over this question used to be between industry and environmentalists. Now ecologists are doing battle with one another too.