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Ecosystem Health: Principles and Practice



Ecosystem Health: Principles and Practice

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Ecosystem Health presents information to help the environmental sciences community further understand the relationships between ecosystem health and human health. By exploring preventative, diagnostic and prognostic aspects of ecosystem management and using case-study examples, the book takes the reader from theory to practice in this emerging integrative science.
Need For A New Paradigm.

Pressures On The Environment.

Ecosystem Pathology.

Shortcomings Of Present Approaches To Environmental Management.

Limitations Of Economic Approaches.

Limitations Of The Ecological Approaches.

Limitations Of The Engineering Model.

The Need For Integrative Knowledge.

Defining Ecosystem Health.

Ecosystem Health As A Metaphor.

What Is Implied By The Health Metaphor At The Ecosystem Level.

What Is Not Implied By The Health Metaphor At The Ecosystem Level.

Ecosystem Health As A Societal Goal.

Ecosystem Health As A Transdisciplinary Science.

Criteria For Ecosystem Health.




Maintenance Of Ecological Services.

Management Options.

Reduced Subsidy.

Damage To Neighbouring Systems.

Human Health Effects.

Dimensions Of Ecosystem Health.


Biophysical Dimension.

Socioeconomic Dimension.

Human Health Dimension.

Spatial/Temporal Dimension.

Stress And Response.

Single Stressors.

Multiple Stressors.

Answering The Critics.

Interfacing Societal Values And Science.

Distinguishing Between Health, Integrity And Sustainable Development.

Ecosystem Health The Last Frontier Of Medicine.


Part II: Approaches To Assessing The Health Of Ecosystems; Assessment By Whom, For Who, To What Ends?; The Ecosocial Dynamics Of Rural Systems:.


Pre-Modern Social Systems.

The Emergence Of A Crisis Of Rural Life.

The Dynamics Of Rural Poverty.

The Dual Economy: A Modern Alternative For Sustainable Development.

Assessing Ecosystem Health Across Spatial Scales.


Defining The Context: Ecosystem Health And Ecosocial Scale.

Spatial Scalilng Of Ecosocial Complexes.

The Range Of Scales: The Taiga As An Example.

Criteria Of Ecosystem Health.

Concluding Remarks: An Emphatic "No!" To Shallow Anthropocentrism.

The Efforts Of Community Volunteers In Assessing Watershed Ecosystem Health.


Empowering Community Groups.

River Watch Network; Watershed Ecosystem Health.

Indicators Of Watershed Ecosystem Health.

Physical Indicators.

Chemical Indicators.

Biological Indicators.

Human Health Indicators.

Human Use And Perception Indicators.

Selecting Indicators.

Volunteer Water Monitoring.

Case Studies.

Southwest: Isleta Pueblow And The Rio Grande.

The US Mexico Border: The Rio Bravo River Watchers.

New England: The Connecticut River Watch Program.

New England: The Mystic River Watch.

The Merrimack River Voluneer Environmental Monitoring Network.

Case Conclusions.



Assessing Cumulative Health Effects In Ecosystems.

Cumulative Effects: Background And Definition.

Understanding Casualty And Feedback In Assessing Cumulative Effects.

Diagnostic Approaches; Loop Analysis Methodology.

Core Loop Models From Data Sets.

Core Models Of Marine Communities.

Cumulative Effects Assessment For The Northumberland Strait.

Fish Landings.

Loop Analysis Models Of Key Relationships.

Combined Fisheries Foodwebs Illustrating Benthic-Pelagic Coupling.

Summary Of Results.

Integrating Health Surveillance And Environmental Monitoring.

Emerging Infectious Disease And Global Change.


Climate Change And Disease.

Montane Regions.

Marine Ecosystems.

Global Change, Biodiversity And Marine-Related Disease.

Climate Variability And Epidemics.

Minimum Temperatures.

Biodiversity And Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Evolutionary Biology: The Environment And Disease Emergence; Ecology, Pests And Terrestrial Ecosystems.

R-Selected And K-Selected Species.

Cumulative Ecological Impacts Of Global Change.

Synergies And Pests.

Ocean Warming.

Decadal Variability.


Costs Of Epidemics.

Integrated Assessment And Monitoring.

Integrated Ecological Risk Assessment.

Biological Indicators For Integrated Monitoring.

New Methodologies For Surveillance And Integrated Monitoring.

An Historical Note On Infectious Disease Pandemics.


Qualitative Mathematics For Understanding, Prediction And Intervention In Complex Systems.

Some Methods Of Qualitative Analysis.

The Indicators Of Qualitative Dynamics.

Local Stability.

Signed Digraphs.



Correlation Patterns.

Time Averaging.

Validation Of Indicators.


Benchmark Sites.

Field Measurements.

Computing Indicator Metrics.

Paleoecology: A Diagnostic Approach To Assessing Ecosysem Health.



Paleolimnological Approach.

Interpreting Information In Sediment Cores.

Quantitative Inference.


Ecological Risk Assessment, A Predictive Approach To Assessing Ecosystem Health.


Stages In Ecological Risk Assessment.

Uncertainty In Risk Assessments.

Uncertainty And Scale.

Ecosystem Health And Self-Interest.



Part III: Ecosystem Health And Sustainability; What Is Sustainability?.


Defining And Predicting Sustainability.


What System?.

How Long?.


Predictors Of Ecosystem Health.

Measuring Vigor.

Measuring Organization.

Measuring Resilience.

Social Decision Making.

Using Models To Build Consensus.

A Three-Step Modeling Process.

Scoping And Consensus-Building Models.

Research Models.

Management Models.

Toward Global Ecosystem Health And Sustainability: The Importance Of Envisioning.

Part IV: Case Studies; The Chesapeake Bay And Its Watershed: A Model For Sustainable Ecosystem Management?.


A Summary Of The Problem.

The Chesapeake Bay And Its Watershed.

History Of The Bay And Its Watershed; Principal Uses And Problems Of The Chesapeake Bay.

The Bay And Its Watershed As A System.


Evolution Of Chesapeake Bay Management.

Barriers And Bridges To Improved Management.

Social Traps.

Building Bridges With Incentives.

Summary And Synthesis.


Paleolimnological Assessments Of Ecosystem Health: Lake Acidification In Adirondack Park Introduction.

The Acidification Of Deep Lake Regional Changes In Lake Acidification.

Regional Changes In Lake Acidification.


The Desert Grasslands.

Characteristics Of The Ecosystem.

History Of Degradation.

Rangeland Rehavilitation.


Health Of Some Cuban Forest Ecosystems.


Current Condition And Pressures On Cuban Ecosystems.

Socio-Historical Stresses.

Natural And Anthropogenic Perturbations Affecting Existing Cumban Ecosystems.

Meteorological Perturbations.

Ecosystem Research And Monitoring.

The Sierra Del Rosario Biosphere Reserve.




The Island Group Sabana-Camaguey Mangroves.

Description And Observations.



Critical Regions, A Profile Of The Honduras.


Deforestation And Natural Disasters.

Increases In Infectious Disease.

Water-Borne Infections.

Vector-Borne Disease.


La Mosca Blanca.

Clinical Impacts.


Who Framed The Kyronjoki?.

The Facts.

The Suspects.

The Options.

The Decision Problems.

The Future.