US Long-Term Ecological Research Network
The need for large-scale experiments to assess and predict the response of ecosystems to perturbation.
Abstract
Ecosystem experiments are field experiments in which the experimental unit is large enough to include the relevant physical, chemical, and biotic context of the processes being studied. Whole-ecosystem experiments have yielded insights about many processes in a diversity of habitats. Successful design and interpretation of ecosystem experiments depend on connections to theoretical, long-term, and comparative studies. Ecologists have overcome many problems of inference for ecosystem experiments. However, the issue of replication is far less important than the need to compare alternative explanations for the results, which may involve reference ecosystems, premanipulation data, and additional measurements or experiments designed to compare possible explanations. Potential limitations of ecosystem experimentation include the variability and slow dynamics of ecosystems, certain aspects of academic and management culture, and institutional shortcomings. Progress in ecosystem experiments can be accelerated through dedicated sites and funding, and keystones that foster collaborations between management and science for adaptive ecosystem management.
Year of Publication
1998
Number of Pages
287-312
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Place Published
New York
ISBN Number
730808TL1193
Citation Key
bibcite_918
URL
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4612-1724-4_12
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4612-1724-4_12