Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What Do Ecological Paradigms Offer to Conservation?

International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2010, Article ID 250754, 9 pages

Here is a good paper worth perusing. I found it very interesting. I am giving below the abstract as it is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License

Ecological theory provides applications to biodiversity management—but often falls short of expectations. One possibility is that heuristic theories of a young science are too immature. Logistic growth predicts a carrying capacity, but fisheries managed with theLotka-Volterra paradigm continue to collapse. A second issue is that general predictions may not be useful. The theory of islandbiogeography predicts species richness but does not predict community composition. A third possibility is that the theory itself may not have much to do with nature, or that empirical parameterization is too difficult to know. The metapopulation paradigmis relevant to conservation, but metapopulations might not be common in nature. For instance, empirical parameterization within the metapopulation paradigm is usually infeasible. A challenge is to determine why ecology fails to match needs of managers sometimes but helps at other. Managers may expect too much of paradigmatic blueprints, while ecologists believe them too much. Those who implement biodiversity conservation plans need simple, pragmatic guidelines based on science. Is this possible? What is possible? An eclectic review of theory and practice demonstrate the power and weaknesses of the ideas that guide conservation and attempt to identify reasons for prevailing disappointment.

Copyright © 2010 S. B. Ale and H. F. Howe.
SomB. Ale1, 2 and Henry F. Howe1, 3
1Department of Biological Sciences (m/c 066), University of Illinois at Chicago, 845 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
2Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota, 200 Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Avenue,
St. Paul, Minnesota, MN 55108, USA
3Department of Zoology, Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605, USA

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