Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Propose Ecology For A Crowded Planet

Date:
June 16, 2004
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
As our planet's population swells and increases demands on natural resources, ecological scientists should work with other experts to make sure our basic survival needs are met.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As our planet's population swells and increases demands on natural resources, ecological scientists should work with other experts to make sure our basic survival needs are met.

That's the conclusion of a group of researchers who have been pondering ways for ecological science to tackle the big scientific challenges of the future. The group, which includes University of Michigan ecologist Mercedes Pascual, summarized its position in the May 28 issue of Science.

While it's important to continue studying rare and rapidly shrinking undisturbed ecosystems, ecological research needs to reflect the reality that Earth will be overpopulated and increasingly affected by human activities for the foreseeable future, the scientists assert. They propose a new research agenda centered on finding ways to maintain the benefits that natural ecosystems provide humans, such as clean drinking water, stabilized soil and the buffering of infectious disease outbreaks. Specific research projects might look, for instance, at how to protect habitats to make sure that the most important benefits to people are not compromised.

Restoration has been a focus of ecological research for some time, but restoring an altered ecosystem to its original state may not always be possible, the researchers note. In some cases, the best alternative may be "designed ecological solutions" that combine ecological approaches with technological innovations.

In the Netherlands, for example, groundwater has been extracted from under coastal dunes for many years to provide drinking water for cities, but over-extraction has caused environmental damage. The designed ecological solution was to build artificial lakes that were filled with river water piped into the dune subsoil.

Developing such approaches will require ecologists to work with other experts, such as wastewater engineers, with whom they've had little contact in the past. Social scientists may also get involved, studying the tension between human needs and ecosystem needs.

Particularly pressing are solutions for problems related to three issues: urbanization, the degradation of fresh water, and the movement of materials between ecosystems, according to the authors, who are members of the Ecological Visions committee of the Ecological Society of America. The Science article summarizes the committee's full report.

Related links:

Mercedes Pascual -- http://www.eeb.lsa.umich.edu/eebfacultydetails.asp?ID=60

http://ipumich.temppublish.com/public/experts/ExpDisplay.php?ExpID=885

Science -- http://www.sciencemag.org/

Ecological Society of America -- http://www.esa.org/

Ecological Visions Project -- http://www.esa.org/ecovisions/ev_projects/about_project.php


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Scientists Propose Ecology For A Crowded Planet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040616063807.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (2004, June 16). Scientists Propose Ecology For A Crowded Planet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040616063807.htm
University Of Michigan. "Scientists Propose Ecology For A Crowded Planet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040616063807.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins