Navigation Links
Managing uncertainty important in ecological balance: ASU researcher
Date:2/17/2008

BOSTON -- The balance of nature looms prominently in the public mind these days. Climate change, genetically modified plants and animals, and globally declining fish stocks are but a few of the issues that remind us that ours is a fragile world. Or is it?

It depends on whom you ask, says Ann Kinzig, an Arizona State University associate professor in the School of Life Sciences specializing in biology and society. According to her research, ideas about natures balance diverge across lines of culture, livelihood and political ideology.

Kinzig will present her observations on Feb. 17 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

Some view nature as fragile, easily upset by human activity and in need of protection, Kinzig says. Others view nature as extremely robust and nearly endless in its capacity to continue to supply needed resources in the face of heavy human exploitation. Still others have more nuanced viewpoints or inconsistent perceptions.

The condition of the natural world is not an either-or proposition the biosphere is never perfectly balanced or wholly poised on the brink of a precipitous crash, Kinzig says. It can be at once robust and fragile, stable and unstable. Moreover, instability in one part of the ecological system may be required to maintain stability in another, as when variations in the populations of individual plant species act to stabilize the overall biomass of an ecosystem. Ones interpretation is greatly dependent upon which features are examined and at what scale.

Similarly, humans can have a beneficial or a detrimental effect on resilience, or both. According to Kinzig, there is no theoretical reason to conclude that ecological systems would grow more resilient in absence of human influences.

Human interaction could, in theory, serve to either increase or decrease resilience, she says. In practice, it does both, though the examples of human interaction degrading resilience are more numerous.

If uncertainty can never fully be eliminated from our understanding of nature, then scientists, decision makers and the public must consider it in their deliberations and ask what risks they are willing to take in managing the worlds ecological systems.

Uncertainty can and should influence management decisions, Kinzig says. Our perceptions about the robustness or vulnerability of nature may be wrong. If we have as our model that nature is fragile, and it isnt, what opportunities do we miss? If we perceive it to be robust, and it isnt, what consequences do we suffer?


'/>"/>

Contact: Skip Derra
skip.derra@asu.edu
480-965-4823
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Managing nuclear wastes for the millennia
2. Uncertainty drives the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds
3. Nicotinic receptors may be important targets for treatment of multiple addictions
4. Scientists discover important beauty secret for balanced skin color and tone
5. Fossilized cashew nuts reveal Europe was important route between Africa and South America
6. Researchers discover important tool in understanding differentiation in human embryonic stem cells
7. Lipids in the brain an important factor for Alzheimers disease?
8. It is important to demonstrate the influence of the microenvironment in the process of metastasis
9. 2 genes are important key to regulating immune response
10. Book on weeds and invasive plants discusses how to manage them using ecological approaches
11. Biogeochemistry -- A window into the Earths ecological health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... facial recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... ), a leading provider of secure digital communications services, ... their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those ... secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... , March 15, 2016 Yissum ... , the technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced ... of remote sensing technology of various human biological indicators. ... raising $2.0 million from private investors. ... based on the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... PUNE, India , March 11, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Image Recognition Market ... by Application (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises ... Global Forecast To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... in 2015 to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... New Jersey and ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ... und marketingorientierten Lösungen für die Life-Science-Branche, Pharmaunternehmen ... ein bekannter weltweiter Anbieter von innovativen wissenschaftlichen ... Zuge des Starts von IntraScience heute den ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... 2016 Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), ... a featured presenter at the 5th Annual Marcum MicroCap Conference ... City at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. ... Inc. CEO, is scheduled to begin at 11a.m ET in ... strategy, recent developments and outline milestones for the balance of ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... FireflySci has been manufacturing quartz and ... over the globe. Their cute firefly logo has been spreading to more and ... spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require recalibration. These revolutionary standards have changed ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand by ... Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in his pursuit of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: