Ecological assessments are a critical component of land management planning and regulatory decision-making. In the United States, for example, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 directs that the environmental consequences associated with proposed management of federal lands be fully disclosed to the general public through environmental impact assessments. In a similar manner, over 40 other countries have legislated the use of some type of ecological assessment as a prerequisite for effective environmental planning and land management. Although ecological assessments can be conducted at a variety of spatial scales and may address one or many issues, the main intent of this book is to describe topics with particular importance to strategic integrated ecological assessments at a regional or subregional scale. The chapters in this book range from overviews of basic ecological principles, to suggestions concerning ecosystem characterization and analysis, to systematic reviews of selected case studies. In this respect, the book provides both theoretical and practical advice for future ecological assessments given specific land use planning objectives. This book will be the reference standard for any person engaged in any ecological assessment exercise at any level, whether they work for national, state or regional authorities or in academia.
The Berne Symposium invited leading scientists of risk assessment research with transgenic crops on an international level in order to enhance the discussion regulators and members of the biotech industry. The goal was to determine the status quo and also to make progress in times of a first global spread of transgenes in agrosystems about risk assessment. The dialogue between scientists, regulators and industry representatives also revealed some lacunes of risk assessment research, which will have to be filled in the future: We still lack longterm experience, for which we will have to collect data with scientific precision. The symposium concluded asking for a risk-oriented longterm monitoring system based on critical science and hard data. This volume presents the discussion sessions as well as the scientific contributions and thus mirrors the risk assessment debate, based not on exaggerated negative scenarios but on critical science and hard data.
This book illustrates how the choice of relevant data collection and data analysis techniques is critical for a sound and objective description of the complexity of space-time patterns and processes in ecology and the aquatic sciences. It reviews the concept of complexity in a general ecological context, before introducing a unifying definition of complexity in marine ecology. The book shows that convincing results can arise from very simple, sound, and well-thought-out approaches. The authors underline the risks related to modern techniques of data assimilation that can lead to data inundation, a loss of focus, and ultimately an erroneous scientific approach.
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