Ecosystem Functioning (Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation)

Ecosystem Functioning (Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation)

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Kurt Jax
Cambridge University Press, 9/16/2010
EAN 9780521879538, ISBN10: 0521879531

Hardcover, 286 pages, 23.5 x 15.6 x 1.8 cm
Language: English

In the face of decreasing biodiversity and ongoing global changes, maintaining ecosystem functioning is seen both as a means to preserve biological diversity as well as for safeguarding human well-being by securing the services ecosystems provide. The concept today is prominent in many fields of ecology and conservation biology, such as biodiversity research, ecosystem management, or restoration ecology. Although the idea of ecosystem functioning is important, the concept itself remains rather vague and elusive. This book provides a novel analysis and integrated synthesis of different approaches to conceptualising and assessing ecosystem functioning. It links the natural sciences with methodologies from philosophy and the social sciences, and introduces a new methodology for a clearer and more efficient application of ecosystem functioning concepts in practice. Special emphasis is laid on the social dimensions of the concept and the ways it influences research practice. Several case studies relate theoretical analyses to practical application.

1. Introduction
2. Setting the scene. The context of investigating ecosystem functioning
3. What do we need for a functioning ecosystem? The debate on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
4. Becoming general
What is ecosystem functioning?
5. Ecosystem functioning
science meets society
6. Assessing ecosystem functioning
existing approaches
7. Putting ecosystem functioning concepts into practice
a classification and some guidelines.